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Emotion Regulation In Infants Essay

1506 words - 7 pages

Emotion regulation involves intrinsic and extrinsic processing of monitoring and modifying emotional reactions in both positive or negative situations (Martins, 2012). In order for individuals to have the ability to regulate emotions, they must beware of their emotions. Although infants are unaware and lack the ability to regulate their emotions, it then becomes the role of a primary carer to nurture the infant, thus acting as a model for regulating emotions. Evidently, infants grow to reflect the ways in which their carers control and modify their emotions as well as social boundaries. Furthermore, emotion regulation is considered an important aspect of an individuals life as it 'can moderate emotions and keep them in a manageable range in which individuals can cope' (Leahy, R.L., et al, 2012). Therefore the main focus of this essay will be exploring emotion regulation, however paying close attention to over and under regulations and its functional affects on infants. The role of attachment in infant over-regulation as well as some implications of infants in centre based care will also be explored throughout this essay.

Life without emotions would lack meaning, texture, richness, joy and the connection with others (Leahy, R.L., et al, 2012). Emotion can be defined as various states of feelings, thoughts and verbal interactions that individuals can experience (White el al., 2012). It is from this that individuals are able to create relationships with others, in this case infants are able to create attachments to their parents. For the purpose of this essay, emotions can be categorised into two parts; over-regulation and under-regulation. Over-regulation is one's ability to suppress evidence of emotional distress in various situations, resulting in a lack of openness by the individual (Cassidy, 1994; Main, 1990; Sroufe, 1996 as cited Martins et al, 2012). Under-regulation is one's ability to express signs of intensified emotional distress as well as complete reliance on other individuals for emotion security (Cassidy, 1994; Keenan, 2002; Sroufe, 1996 as cited in Martines et al., 2012).

What is emotion regulation in infants 0-4?
The regulation of emotions within adults is considerably more complex than within an infant. However, this does not mean that infants do not share the same feelings as adults do. Infant emotion regulation is evidently derived from their primary carers. Empirical research supports idea as stated by Diener (et al, 2002) whereby the study conducted involved infants completing a strange situations procedure, this explored the connection between mother-infant relationship and the behavioural strategies used by infants for emotion regulation. Therefore, behavioural strategies used by infants including self-soothing, withdrawal and self-distraction with objects is when it is clear that infants have the ability to control and monitor their emotions (Martins, 2012; Diener et al., 2002). These strategies are supported through...

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