Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Rosanne Menna


Psychology, Aggression, Emotional competence, Emotion regulation, Emotion socialization, Preschool, Prosocial behavior



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Young children's prosocial behaviour has been linked with later social and academic competence; whereas aggression in early childhood is predictive of later psychopathology, academic problems, and crime. In a sample of 136 mother-child pairs, associations among maternal emotion socialization, emotional competence, social behaviour, and perceived social acceptance were explored. Results revealed that mothers' expressive encouragement responses and children's emotion regulation skills predicted children's prosocial behaviour. In addition, children's prosocial behaviour was positively associated with their perceived peer acceptance. Children's emotion regulation problems were found to completely mediate the association between mothers' distress reactions and children's parent-reported physical aggression, with higher levels of distress reactions being associated with increases in children's emotion regulation problems, which were linked with higher levels of physical aggression. In addition, children's physical aggression was negatively associated with perceived maternal acceptance and positively associated with discrepancies between child- and parent-reported peer acceptance. Implications for interventions with mothers and children are discussed.