Select or Award-Winning Individual Scholarship

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Theory and research advocate that parent’s reactions to children’s emotions, such as their emotion socialization toward their children, perform a crucial role in coaching children’s competent emotion regulation (ER) skills. However, there are few studies that have openly researched the role that parent socialization of emotion performs in the growth of ER in youth with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is a disorder typically noted for poor ER skills. Thus, potential intervention to improve parental emotion socialization could have significant implications for this population, as ADHD is considered one of the most prevalent childhood psychiatric disorders, prevalence rates of up to 7% worldwide (Polanczy, Willcut, Salum, Kieling, & Rohde, 2014; Willcutt, 2012; Graziano, Garcia, 2016). It is imperative a responsive intervention program is implemented. The present study will be the first to outline an experiment to examine whether parental emotion socialization can be influenced to increase ER skills in this population. The experiment population will include age 4-6-year-olds with moderate to high ADHD symptoms. A seven-week program will be outlined for the parents of the children. These sessions will be based on a previous program called Tuning In to Kids, TIK (Havighurst & Harley, 2007). Potential results will be explained along with implications for these results.


This undergraduate thesis project was completed under the supervision of Dr. Aaron Buss, University of Tennessee Department of Psychology.

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