Predicting Parent-Child Aggression Risk in Mothers and Fathers: Role of Emotion Regulation and Frustration Tolerance

Academic Article


  • Efforts to identify targets that could be instrumental for child abuse prevention programs have often implicated stress as a key risk factor. However, existing research has not adequately considered the role of emotion dysregulation and frustration intolerance in predicting parents’ risk to engage in parent-child aggression (PCA). In addition, research in this field continues to focus heavily on mothers, with limited attention to fathers. Thus, the current study investigated whether perceived stress and distress, emotion dysregulation, and frustration intolerance independently predicted risk of PCA in a sample of 81 couples; moreover, the study evaluated whether emotion regulation or frustration tolerance mediated or moderated the association between stress and PCA risk. Findings indicated that each of the risk factors uniquely predicted PCA risk after controlling for demographic factors; neither emotion dysregulation nor frustration intolerance moderated the association between stress and PCA risk but emotion regulation did partially mediate this association. No significant differences in the pattern of these relationships were observed between mothers and fathers. Future research directions are discussed, including methodological considerations as well as evaluating how emotion regulation skills training and improved parental frustration tolerance may prevent parent-child aggression.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Rodriguez CM; Baker LR; Pu DF; Tucker MC
  • Start Page

  • 2529
  • End Page

  • 2538
  • Volume

  • 26
  • Issue

  • 9