Biological and social influences both shape emotion regulation. In 380 low-income children, we tested whether biological stress profile (cortisol) moderated the association among positive and negative home environment factors (routines; chaos) and emotion regulation (negative lability; positive regulation). Children (M age = 50.6, SD = 6.4 months) provided saliva samples to assess diurnal cortisol parameters across 3 days. Parents reported on home environment and child emotion regulation. Structural equation modeling was used to test whether cortisol parameters moderated associations between home environment and child emotion regulation. Results showed that home chaos was negatively associated with emotion regulation outcomes; cortisol did not moderate the association. Child cortisol level moderated the routines-emotion regulation association such that lack of routine was most strongly associated with poor emotion regulation among children with lower cortisol output. Findings suggest that underlying child stress biology may shape response to environmental influences.
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© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Developmental Biology
- Behavioral Neuroscience