Project Title

Link Between Parenting Style and Offspring Empathy as Mediated by a Relationship of Familial Emotional Climate and Emotional Regulation

Authors' Affiliations

Meg Clingensmith B.S., Diana Morelen Ph.D. IMH-E Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN.

Location

AUDITORIUM ROOM 137B

Start Date

4-4-2018 1:20 PM

End Date

4-4-2018 1:35 PM

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Doctor Diana Morelen

Faculty Sponsor's Department

Department of Psychology

Type

Oral Presentation

Classification of First Author

Graduate Student-Doctoral

Project's Category

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract Text

A human’s capacity to empathize with others enhances their ability to not only connect, but also communicate with those around them (cite). One’s ability to empathize with others is a skill which is developed through transactional processes with those in their environment. Parenting style has been identified as one such predictor of empathy, with permissive parenting predicting lower levels of offspring empathy and authorative parenting predicting higher levels of empathy. Children who have better control over their emotions through emotional regulation, also tend to exhibit higher levels of empathy. Examining variables within the parent-child dyad which may contribute to the development of empathy in adulthood could inform both parents and health professionals on ways to foster healthy emotional development in children. We hypothesize that one’s views of their parents’ parenting style from childhood will be related to current empathy. Further, we hypothesize that the relation between parenting style and empathy will be explained by the impact of parenting style on family emotion climate during childhood, which, in turn, will predict emotion regulation abilities, which will predict empathy. Participants (N= 474, age M = 20.38, SD = 4.7) were recruited through the REACH (Religion, Emotions, and Current Health) survey study, in which data was collected via self-report. Retrospective measures regarding the participant’s childhood include the Parental Authority Questionnaire (PAQ) which was used to assess parenting style, and the Parent Attitude Toward Children’s Expressiveness Scale (PACES) which was used to examine the participant’s perceptions of how accepting their parents were of their emotions during childhood (accepting emotion climate). Measures examining current emotional regulation and empathy were the Difficulties in Emotional Regulation Scale (DERS) and the Toronto Empathy Questionnaire (TEQ). Direct bivariate analyses and multivariate analyses will be conducted using SPSS and the PROCESS macro. Although authoritarian parenting has not been significantly linked with a lessened ability for children to regulate emotions, we predict this relationship may become significant through a serial mediation of the emotional climate of the home and emotional regulation. We hypothesize authoritarian parenting will predict a less accepting family emotion climate, which will in turn predict difficulties in emotional regulation and thus result in lower levels of empathy. Conversely, Authoritative parenting is proposed to predict a more accepting family emotion climate and better ability regulating emotions, which is hypothesized to in turn predict greater empathy.

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Apr 4th, 1:20 PM Apr 4th, 1:35 PM

Link Between Parenting Style and Offspring Empathy as Mediated by a Relationship of Familial Emotional Climate and Emotional Regulation

AUDITORIUM ROOM 137B

A human’s capacity to empathize with others enhances their ability to not only connect, but also communicate with those around them (cite). One’s ability to empathize with others is a skill which is developed through transactional processes with those in their environment. Parenting style has been identified as one such predictor of empathy, with permissive parenting predicting lower levels of offspring empathy and authorative parenting predicting higher levels of empathy. Children who have better control over their emotions through emotional regulation, also tend to exhibit higher levels of empathy. Examining variables within the parent-child dyad which may contribute to the development of empathy in adulthood could inform both parents and health professionals on ways to foster healthy emotional development in children. We hypothesize that one’s views of their parents’ parenting style from childhood will be related to current empathy. Further, we hypothesize that the relation between parenting style and empathy will be explained by the impact of parenting style on family emotion climate during childhood, which, in turn, will predict emotion regulation abilities, which will predict empathy. Participants (N= 474, age M = 20.38, SD = 4.7) were recruited through the REACH (Religion, Emotions, and Current Health) survey study, in which data was collected via self-report. Retrospective measures regarding the participant’s childhood include the Parental Authority Questionnaire (PAQ) which was used to assess parenting style, and the Parent Attitude Toward Children’s Expressiveness Scale (PACES) which was used to examine the participant’s perceptions of how accepting their parents were of their emotions during childhood (accepting emotion climate). Measures examining current emotional regulation and empathy were the Difficulties in Emotional Regulation Scale (DERS) and the Toronto Empathy Questionnaire (TEQ). Direct bivariate analyses and multivariate analyses will be conducted using SPSS and the PROCESS macro. Although authoritarian parenting has not been significantly linked with a lessened ability for children to regulate emotions, we predict this relationship may become significant through a serial mediation of the emotional climate of the home and emotional regulation. We hypothesize authoritarian parenting will predict a less accepting family emotion climate, which will in turn predict difficulties in emotional regulation and thus result in lower levels of empathy. Conversely, Authoritative parenting is proposed to predict a more accepting family emotion climate and better ability regulating emotions, which is hypothesized to in turn predict greater empathy.