Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Psychology


Clinical Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, v, 94 pages) : illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Elana Gordis

Committee Members

James Boswell, Leslie Halpern


Stress in children, Emotions in children, Emotions, Psychology, Pathological, Affect (Psychology)

Subject Categories



Research consistently indicates that harsh parenting and interparental aggression are associated with long-term adjustment problems. However, not all youth exposed to these types of environmental stress go on to develop adverse outcomes. Additional research is needed on factors that increase risk for or protect against adverse psychological outcomes following early environmental stress. The present study examined reactivity profiles, developed from biological, behavioral, and affective responses to stress in young adults, as moderators in the relation between exposure to interparental aggression and/or harsh parenting during childhood and adolescence and psychopathology symptoms in young adults. Latent profile analysis indicated a 2-profile model with emotion regulation variables, resting respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), and RSA reactivity emerging as significant predictors of profile membership. Regression analyses indicated that interactions between emotion regulation profiles and retrospective reports of harsh parenting and interparental aggression during childhood and adolescence significantly predicted young adult anxiety symptoms. Results suggest that low regulation abilities in the context of early trauma exposure may increase the risk for anxiety symptoms. Overall, findings highlight the importance of considering interactions between context and multiple aspects of emotion regulation when examining risk for psychopathology.

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