Interactions of Parent and Adolescent Temperament Dimensions in Relation to the Emotion Regulatory System
Extant research on temperament shows that it may be related to certain developmental outcomes. However, according to the goodness-of-fit hypothesis (Chess and Thomas, 1999), developmental outcomes are the result of how well the biological tendencies of an individual (i.e. temperament) fit with the contextual demands of their environment. Thus, temperament should only affect developmental outcomes as a function of their environmental context. The current study proposes that parent temperament may serve as an environmental context that interacts with adolescent temperament to affect the development of the adolescent emotion regulatory system. Structural equation modeling results revealed parent temperament, specifically parent effortful control, to moderate the relationship between adolescent temperament and the adolescent emotion regulatory system. Several gender differences were also found for both main and interaction effects. Adolescent negative affect was negatively related to emotion regulation for girls only. Parent effortful control moderated the relationship between adolescent effortful control and suppression use also for girls only. Parent effortful control moderated the relationship between adolescent surgency and emotion lability for boys only, and parent effortful control moderated the relationship between adolescent surgency and suppression for both boys and girls, but in opposite directions. The interaction term was negatively related to suppression for girls, and it was positively related to suppression for boys. Results have several implications for potential parenting interventions and may inform programs that teach emotion regulation strategies.