Associations of anger and fear to later self-regulation and problem behavior symptoms

Sara S. Nozadi, Tracy Spinrad, Nancy Eisenberg, Natalie D. Eggum-Wilkens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The mediating and moderating roles of self-regulation in the associations of dispositional anger and fear to later conduct and anxiety symptoms were tested. Mothers and teachers rated children's anger and fear at 54 months (N = 191), and mothers reported on children's symptoms of anxiety and conduct disorders at 72 and 84 months (Ns = 169 and 144). Children's self-regulatory ability was assessed using the Tower of Hanoi task at 72 months. Children's self-regulation mediated the association between early dispositional fear and 84-month mother-reported anxiety disorder symptoms above and beyond the effects of earlier generalized anxiety symptoms. Children's anger directly predicted relatively high mother-reported conduct and anxiety disorder symptoms. Findings are discussed in terms of the importance of considering self-regulation as potential mechanism relating early childhood dispositional reactivity to later psychopathology symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-69
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • Conduct disorder
  • Dispositional anger
  • Dispositional fear
  • General anxiety
  • Self-regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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