Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Lars Schmitz

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Children occasionally encounter dysregulation when interacting with their parents in relatively neutral or positive scenarios. Given that the cause of dysregulation is usually relational, meaning it is often cued by someone who is seen to have power or control over the person, children could be particularly susceptible to dysregulation in the presence of their parents. However, when examining the existing literature, there appeared to be a lack of research and knowledge concerning this topic, with much of the literature focusing on the effect of child stressors on parental dysregulation. As a result, the term parent-prompted dysregulation was developed to refer to a specific state of dysregulation that may occur because of children interacting with their parents or a parent. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a proposed biopsychosocial experimental study to examine the prevalence and potential causes of parent-prompted dysregulation in children. The study will be performed on a sample of children with at least one of their parents. For the study, a parent-child relationship questionnaire will be distributed to each parent and child. Afterwards, an experimental study will be performed where the child will discuss a major life decision with both a confederate and a parent. The cortisol levels of both the parent and the child will also be measured to indicate the presence of parent-prompted dysregulation. This proposed study holds considerable potential in advancing the field of clinical psychology, psychiatry, and public health by introducing and promoting further research on child perspectives on parental stressors and effects and prevention of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).