Regulating Emotions-Young Children's Views on What Adults Can Do

Prof Doc Thesis

Johnson, Mercedes 2016. Regulating Emotions-Young Children's Views on What Adults Can Do. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London Psychology
AuthorsJohnson, Mercedes
TypeProf Doc Thesis

The purpose of this exploratory study was to understand the emotion regulation experience of young children, aged three to four, attending a nursery school of a Local Authority. This study aimed to reveal young children’s perspectives on emotion regulation and in particular on the way the children see adults playing a part in the children’s emotion regulation. It also aimed to explore ways of engaging young children and eliciting their views.
A sample size of 6 participants together with a qualitative triangulated data collection method, offered by the Mosaic approach, revealed unique insights into children’s lived experiences. The data was analysed using a thematic analysis approach.
Findings showed that young children view adults playing an important role in supporting their emotion regulation and that there are a number of ways children found adults can do that successfully. Findings also showed that adults can sometimes be seen as unhelpful by the children, particularly when they were misinterpreting the child’s emotions. Other children were seen as helpful in supporting the emotion regulation of fictional characters or children’s own. Occasionally children also reported dealing with emotions on their own. All methods of data collection generated interesting data but some were more prevalent in generating the key themes around the adults’ role. The thesis offers a critical review of the strengths and limitations of this research together with potential directions for future research. It concludes with implications for the profession and researchers’ reflections on the study.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
PrintJun 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited21 Nov 2016
Publisher's version
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