A Model‐Based Cluster Analysis of Maternal Emotion Regulation and Relations to Parenting Behavior

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In a diverse community sample of mothers (N = 108) and their preschool‐aged children (Mage = 3.50 years), this study conducted person‐oriented analyses of maternal emotion regulation (ER) based on a multimethod assessment incorporating physiological, observational, and self‐report indicators. A model‐based cluster analysis was applied to five indicators of maternal ER: maternal self‐report, observed negative affect in a parent–child interaction, baseline respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), and RSA suppression across two laboratory tasks. Model‐based cluster analyses revealed four maternal ER profiles, including a group of mothers with average ER functioning, characterized by socioeconomic advantage and more positive parenting behavior. A dysregulated cluster demonstrated the greatest challenges with parenting and dyadic interactions. Two clusters of intermediate dysregulation were also identified. Implications for assessment and applications to parenting interventions are discussed.