Anger Regulation In Disadvantaged Preschool Boys: Strategies, Antecedents, and the Development of Self-Control

 

Miles Gilliom, Daniel S. Shaw, Joy E. Beck, Michael A. Schonberg, JoElla L. Lukon, and Emily B. Winslow

University of Pittsburgh

 


Abstract

Emotion regulation strategies observed during an age-3 frustration task were examined in relation to (1) angry affect during the frustration task, (2) child and maternal characteristics at age 1, and (3) indices of self-control at age 6 in a sample of low-income boys (Ns varied between 189 and 310, depending on the assessment). Shifting attention away from sources of frustration and seeking information about situational constraints were associated with decreased anger. Secure attachment and positive maternal control correlated positively with effective regulatory strategy use. Individual differences in strategy use predicted self-control at school entry, but in specific rather than general ways: Reliance on attention shifting strategies presaged low externalizing problems and high cooperation; reliance on information gathering predicted high assertiveness.