The relations of regulation and emotionality to problem behavior in elementary school children

Nancy Eisenberg, Richard Fabes, Ivanna K. Guthrie, Bridget C. Murphy, Pat Maszk, Robin Holmgren, Karen Suh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

405 Scopus citations


The relations of regulation and emotionality to elementary school children's problem behavior was examined. Parents and teachers reported on children's problem behavior. One parent and teachers rated children on various measures of regulation (including resiliency) and emotionality; children's baseline heart rate and facial reactivity were assessed; and physiological and facial distress and gaze aversion while viewing a distress film sequence were measured. In general, low regulation, negative emotionality, and general and positive emotional intensity predicted problem behaviors. Teachers' reports of negative emotionality and regulation interacted in their relation to problem behaviors, with regulation apparently buffering the effects of moderate and high negative emotionality. Baseline heart rate and facial distress were related to low levels of problem behavior, and gaze aversion during the distress film segment was associated with low levels of problem behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-162
Number of pages22
JournalDevelopment and psychopathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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