As early as infancy, the family plays a crucial role in emotion socialization, the process by which children are taught the skills for understanding, expressing, and managing emotions. Because this process extends throughout adolescence, people reach adulthood with emotion regulation strategies that have been, to a large extent, socially influenced by their family. Within the family, several dimensions, such as interparental, parent-child, and whole-family, have been recognized as primary influences on emotion regulation outcomes. However, previous literature fails to consider how these subsystems may interact with one another to hinder or promote people’s ability to effectively regulate their emotions. Implementing a quantitative approach, the current study aims to address this gap by examining a direct effects model against an indirect effects model among a sample of undergraduates (n = 101). The results lend support to both models. Each dimension of family functioning had direct effects on emotion regulation outcomes. At the same time, multiple linear regression analyses indicated that destructive interparental conflict had indirect effects on difficulties with emotion regulation through parents’ use of unsupportive emotion socialization practices and greater family-wide negativity. The findings have practical implications on potential parenting interventions targeted at improving conflict resolution strategies and bringing awareness to the unintended consequences of destructive conflict on children’s outcomes.

Type of Work

Thesis - Limited Access

Department or Program



Hamilton College


Bachelor of Arts

Date of Graduation


Faculty Advisor

Matthew Grace

Creative Commons License

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