Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Stacey Wood

Reader 2

Sheila Walker

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Rights Information

© 2017 Tiffany C. Lagerstrom


While several studies have analyzed the impact of mother-child attachment security on the child’s emotion regulation abilities, few studies have proposed interventions to help children improve emotion regulation abilities in the presence of an insecure mother-child attachment. This current study extends previous findings about the influence of mother-child attachment on the child’s emotion regulation abilities and contributes new research in determining whether an older sibling can moderate this effect. This study predicts that across points of assessments: 18 months, 5 years, 10 years, and 15 years, the quality of mother-child attachment security will influence the child’s performance on an emotion regulation task, such that securely attached children will demonstrate the most persistence and least distress, children with Anxious-Avoidant attachment will demonstrate the least persistence, and children with Anxious-Ambivalent will demonstrate the most distress. If, at any point, the child develops an insecure relationship with the mother and a secure relationship with the older sibling, the child’s persistence is expected to increase and the child’s distress is expected to decrease. In this way, the older sibling will serve as a surrogate attachment figure. These research findings have important implications for parenting behaviors as well as clinical practices.