Intrusive parenting, teacher sensitivity, and negative emotionality on the development of emotion regulation in early head start toddlers

Jennifer A. Mortensen, Melissa A Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Toddler emotion regulation develops within the context of relationships but is also influenced by toddlers’ individual characteristics. Drawing on transactional and differential susceptibility frameworks, this study examined direct and interactive associations of intrusive parenting, teacher sensitivity, and negative emotionality on toddler emotion regulation development in a sample of Early Head Start families utilizing center-based child care. Latent growth models indicated that, after controlling for a series of family and child care covariates, intrusive parenting at 14 months had diminishing effects on trajectories of emotion regulation across toddlerhood (14 to 36 months), whereas teacher sensitivity in child care was promotive for emotion regulation growth. Toddlers with high negative emotionality were not more susceptible to the effects of intrusive parenting or teacher sensitivity on emotion regulation development, however, results suggested emerging evidence for individual differences in the protective nature of teacher sensitivity in the context of high intrusion at home. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for informing parents and early care and education providers in nurturing relationships with the children who may be the most challenging to care for but may stand to make the greatest gains in emotion regulation development in quality caregiving settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-21
Number of pages12
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2019



  • Emotion regulation
  • Intrusive parenting
  • Negative emotionality
  • Teacher sensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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