Date of Award

Summer 8-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Sara S. Jordan

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Tammy D. Barry

Committee Member 3

Christopher D. Barry

Committee Member 4

Richard S. Mohn

Committee Member 4 Department

Educational Studies and Research


Adaptive regulation of emotions, maternal depression, parenting stress, and environmental stress have all been related to adolescent psychosocial outcomes. Considering these established relations, the current study examined serial mediation models in which it was hypothesized that (1) maternal distress or community stress (examined in separate models) would positively relate to adolescent externalizing behaviors directly and (a) indirectly through maladaptive maternal emotion socialization (ES) practices (i.e., magnify, neglect, and punish), (b) indirectly through adolescent emotion regulation (ER) difficulties, and (c) indirectly through both maternal ES practices and adolescent ER difficulties; (2) maternal distress or community stress would positively relate to adolescent ER difficulties (directly and indirectly through maladaptive maternal ES practices); and (3) accounting for initial maternal distress (or community stress) maladaptive maternal ES practices would positively relate to adolescent externalizing behaviors (directly and indirectly through adolescent ER difficulties). Additionally, the presence of a second caregiver was hypothesized to moderate the above models, specifically attenuating the path between ES and ER. To examine the role of the paternal caregiver in two-parent families, paternal ES practices were examined as a moderator in the relation between maternal ES and adolescent ER difficulties. Results indicated that maternal distress is an important predictor of emotional processes as well as externalizing behaviors among adolescents. Specifically, a maternal caregiver who experiences more distress is more likely to engage in maladaptive socialization practices which then relate to more ER difficulties, which subsequently relate to more externalizing problems for adolescents. However, this finding only holds true for the magnification and punishment of emotions. The relation between magnifying ES practices and ER difficulties was attenuated by the presence of a paternal caregiver; however, paternal ES practices were not supported as a moderator of the model. Overall, community stress was not an important predictor for emotional processes within a family or adolescent outcomes. However, in the context of punishing ES practices, lower paternal punishing practices attenuated the relations between community stress and both ER and externalizing problems among adolescents. These results underscore the importance of understanding the complex emotional transactions within a family and need for further research.