Yangmu Xu


Parents of children with developmental delays (DD) have consistently reported higher rates of parental stress (Dabrowska & Pisula, 2010; Oelofsen & Richardson, 2006). Difficulties with child emotion regulation are often exhibited among children with DD, and the relationship between parental stress and child emotion regulation may be bidirectional. Previous studies have found that underlying thoughts about parent’s own emotions is an important construct that has a direct impact on parental emotional wellbeing and child emotion regulation (Gottman et al., 1996). Furthermore, previous studies suggest that Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), an empirically supported stress-reduction intervention, is efficacious in reducing parenting stress and child behavior problems. However, previous studies have not examined the relationship between parental meta-emotion, parental stress, and child regulation, as well as related changes within an MBSR intervention. The current study investigated the relationship between parental stress, child emotion regulation, and parental meta-emotion. We further examined the changes in parental stress, child emotion regulation, and parental metaemotion from pre to post an MBSR intervention. The results of the current study suggested no significant relationship between parental meta-emotion, parenting stress, and child emotion regulation. Only parenting stress demonstrated a significant reduction after the MBSR intervention. Future studies using a larger sample with a control group are warranted to replicate the current study and clarify factors that may explain this finding. Significant findings may help to identify underlying factors that may explain changes in parental stress and child emotion regulation in the context of an MBSR intervention.

Keywords: Parental stress, child regulation, meta-emotion, developmental delays (DD)

LLU Discipline

Clinical Psychology




School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Neece, Cameron L.

Second Advisor

Freeman, Kimberly R.

Third Advisor

Schellinger, Kriston B.

Fourth Advisor

Vermeersch, David A.

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Parenting - Psychology; Parent - Child Relationship; Stress; Psychological; Child Development Disorders - Psychology; Emotions

Subject - Local

Parental Stress; Emotion Regulation; Mindfulness-Based Stress reduction; Meta-emotion



Page Count


Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website


Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives