Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Dr. Stacey N. Doan

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© 2020 Anna Beth Burniston


Although parental emotion socialization (ES) has been correlated with emotion regulation outcomes in children, no prior study has examined how children’s physiological stress regulation is differentially influenced by supportive ES as a function of child gender. Moreover, to date, no studies have examined the simultaneous contribution of mothers and fathers. Seventy-two mothers, fathers, and their preschool-aged children participated in the present study. To measure supportive ES, we created a composite measure using parents’ self-report on the Coping with Children’s Negative Emotion Scale (CCNES) and experimenter ratings during a wordless picture book reading task. Child stress regulation was measured through salivary cortisol samples taken at specified times throughout a series of stressor tasks. We found that paternal supportive ES was a stronger predictor of children’s cortisol levels than maternal supportive ES, and that this influence was not moderated by child gender. Our findings underscore the importance of examining paternal ES in research on child physiological functioning.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.