Preferred Name

Saleena Wilson

Creative Commons License

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


Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Graduate Psychology


David E. Szwedo

Kala J. Melchiori

Claire W. Lyons


The present study sought to compare the utility of adolescents’ parental relationship qualities and behaviors for predicting young adult emotion regulation as well as the mediating role of emotion regulation in the intergenerational transmission of relationship qualities and behaviors. Early adolescence is characterized by the emergence of new emotions, responsibilities, and budding romantic relationships. Parental relationships with positive qualities may provide a safe environment for teens to explore these unfamiliar experiences. In late adolescence, teens depend less on this secure base but benefit from the utilization of specific relationship behaviors, modeled to them by their parents, in increasingly important social and romantic relationships. Thus, relationship qualities and behaviors and emotion regulation likely also impact later romantic relationship functioning. A longitudinal, multi-method, and multi-reporter design was utilized in data collection to assess parent relationship qualities and behaviors in early and late adolescence, emotion regulation in young adulthood, and romantic relationship functioning in adulthood. A series of hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed some evidence for a differential pattern of predictive utility of parent qualities and behaviors in early versus late adolescence. However, the direction of some relationships between parent relationship qualities and behaviors were unexpected. Evidence was less compelling regarding romantic relationships and the mediating role of emotion regulation. Future research may wish to further examine interparental relationships and peer relationships regarding opportunities for social and emotional learning. Implications for parenting and psychological practice are discussed.



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