Parental Buffering in Children with Externalizing Disorders and Typically-Developing Children

Melanie Silverman, Fordham University


This study aimed to investigate the parental buffering of emotion regulation in children with ADHD and typically-developing children. Prior translational work indicates that parents scaffold emotional learning and emotion regulation in typical childhood and that attachment security plays a role in this effect. Given literature identifying weakened attachment security in children with externalizing disorders, the present study explored putative differences in parental buffering between typically-developing children and children with ADHD (age 5-9) via an affective go/no-go task performed in the presence of mothers and the presence of strangers. Children also reported attachment security to their mothers. Confirming prior work, findings indicate that children with ADHD demonstrate weaker performance on an affective go/no-go task. However, results indicate similar levels of attachment security among both groups and similar levels of performance in the presence of the mother and the stranger in both groups. Thus, the study did not provide evidence of a parental buffering effect in this sample. Future work may explore these issues with a more ecological valid task of emotion regulation.

Subject Area

Developmental psychology|Personality psychology|Behavioral psychology

Recommended Citation

Silverman, Melanie, "Parental Buffering in Children with Externalizing Disorders and Typically-Developing Children" (2019). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI22592409.