Cite this article as:

Savenysheva S. S., Smirnova N. N., Zharkova A. V. Emotional Self-Regulation of Preschoolers and Parent-Child Relationships. Izvestiya of Saratov University. Educational Acmeology. Developmental Psychology, 2020, vol. 9, iss. 1, pp. 48-57. DOI:

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0).

Emotional Self-Regulation of Preschoolers and Parent-Child Relationships


The purpose of the research presented in the article is to study characteristics of strategies for emotional self-regulation of preschool children in connection with characteristics of emotional parent-child interaction and deviations in parenting. Presumably, the development of emotional self-regulation (ESR) of preschool children depends on their gender; negative and non-supportive interaction of parents with a child determines less mature ESR methods for preschool children; the interrelation between ESR strategies and parent-child relationships depends on the gender of the child and the parent. The study involved 143 preschool children aged from 5 to 7 (M = 6.0), of which 75 were boys and 67 were girls; 218 parents (140 mothers and 80 fathers) and 8 preschool teachers. To study characteristics of self-regulation, we used the “Diagnosis of Emotional Self-Regulation of Preschool Children” technique (N. N. Smirnova, S. S. Savenysheva) and questionnaires for diagnosing strategies of emotional self-regulation of preschool children for parents and preschool teachers. To study parent-child relationships, we used the “Questionnaire of Child-Parent Emotional Interaction (A. I. Zakharova) and the “Analysis of Family Education” technique (E. G. Eidemiller, V. V. Yustitskis). It is shown that in older preschool age constructive strategies prevail over non-constructive ones. Girls at senior preschool age are characterized by more constructive and more mature strategies of emotional self-regulation compared to boys. The study revealed that high frequency of using constructive strategies of emotional self-regulation among preschoolers is determined by their mother’s acceptance and togetherness with the child, her parental maturity and positive background of emotional interaction with the father of the child. The use of behavioral strategies of emotional self-regulation by preschool children is associated with positive emotional background of the interaction of both parents, emotional support from the mother, as well as low manifestation of the projection of undesirable qualities on the child by the mother.


1. Penela E. C., Walker O. L., Degnan K. A., Fox N. A., Henderson H. A. Early Behavioral Inhibition and Emotion Regulation: Pathways Toward Social Competence in Middle Childhood // Child Development. 2015. Vol. 86, iss. 4. Р. 1227‒1240. DOI:
2. Oshkina A. A., Tsygankova I. G. Formirovaniye emotsional’noy samoregulyatsii u starshikh doshkol’nikov [Formation of Emotional Self-Regulation in Older Preschoolers]. Moscow, Tsentr Pedagogicheskogo obrazovaniya Publ., 2015. 128 p. (in Russian).
3. Lafrenier P. Emotsional’noye razvitiye detey i podrostkov [Emotional Development of Children and Adolescents]. St. Petersburg, Praim-Evroznak Publ., Moscow, OlmaPress Publ., 2004. 250 p. (in Russian). 4. Savenysheva S. S. Emotional Self-Regulation: Approaches to Defi nition in Foreign Psychology. Internet-zhurnal «Mir nauki» [Internet Journal “World of Science”], 2019, no. 1. Available at: (accessed 15 August 2019) (in Russian).
5. Eisenberg N., Spinrad T. L. Emotion-Related Regulation: Sharpening the Defi nition // Child Development. 2004. Vol. 75, № 2. Р. 334‒339. DOI:
6. Изотова Е. И. Динамика эмоционального развития современных дошкольников // Мир психологии. 2015. № 1 (81). С. 65‒76.
7. Sala M. N., Pons F., Molina P. Emotion Regulation Strategies in Preschool Children // British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 2014. Vol. 32, № 4. Р. 440–453. DOI:
8. Eisenberg N., Spinrad T. L., Cumberland A. J. The Socialization of Emotion : Reply to Commentaries // Psychological Inquiry. 1998. Vol. 9. Р. 317‒333. DOI:
9. Cole P. M., Michel M. K., Teti L. O. The Development of Emotion Regulation and Dysregulation : A Clinical Perspective // Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development. 1994. Vol. 59, № 2‒3. Р. 73‒102.
10. Eisenberg N., Cumberland A., Spinrad T. L. Parental Socialization of Emotion // Psychological Inquiry. 1998. Vol. 9, № 4. Р. 241‒273. DOI:
11. Gottman J. M., Katz L. F., Hooven C. Meta-Emotion: How Families Communicate Emotionally. Mahwah, NJ : Erlbaum, 1997. 366 p.
12. Jones S., Eisenberg N., Fabes R. A., MacKinnon D. P. Parents’ Reactions to Elementary School Children’s Negative Emotions : Relations to Social and Emotional Functioning at School // Merrill-Palmer Quarterly. 2002. Vol. 48, № 2. Р. 133–159. DOI:
13. Grusec J. E., Davidov M. Socialization in the Family : The Roles of Parents // Handbook of Socialization : Theory and Research / eds. J. E. Grusec, P. D. Hastings. New York, NY, US : Guilford Press, 2007. P. 284‒308.
14. Shewark E., Blandon A. Mothers’ and Fathers’ Emotion Socialization and Children’s Emotion Regulation : A Within-Family Model // Social Development. 2014. Vol. 24, iss. 2. Р. 266–284. DOI:
15. Lavi I., Katz L. F., Ozer E. J., Gross J. J. Emotion Reactivity and Regulation in Maltreated Children : A Meta-Analysis // Child Development. 2019. Vol. 90, № 5. Р. 1503‒1524. DOI:
16. Brumariu L. E. Parent-Child Attachment and Emotion Regulation // New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development. 2015. № 148. Р. 31–45. DOI:
17. Abraham M., Kerns K. Positive and Negative Emotions and Coping as Mediators of Mother-Child Attachment and Peer Relationships // Merrill-Palmer Quarterly. 2013. Vol. 59, iss. 4. Р. 399–425. DOI:
18. Brenning K. M., Soenens B., Braet C., Bosmans G. Attachment and Depressive Symptoms in Middle Childhood and Early Adolescence : Testing the Validity of the Emotion Regulation Model of Attachment // Personal Relationships. 2012. Vol. 19, № 3. Р. 445–464. DOI:
19. Ştefan C. A., Avram J., Miclea M. Children’s Awareness Concerning Emotion Regulation Strategies: Effects of Attachment Status // Social Development. 2017. Vol. 26, № 4. Р. 694–708. DOI:
20. Leaders A. G. Psikhologicheskoye obsledovaniye sem’i [Psychological Examination of Family]. Moscow, Akademiya Publ., 2007. 432 p. (in Russian).

Full text (in Russian):
(downloads: 86)
Short text (in English):
(downloads: 47)