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Parent Self-Compassion and Supportive Responses to Child Difficult Emotion: An Intergenerational Theoretical Model Rooted in Attachment
Lathern, C., Bluth, K., & Zvara, B.
From the abstract: "Self-compassion is an adaptive way of self-relating that entails tending to one's emotional pain with understanding and care. In this paper, we propose an intergenerational model explaining how self-compassion develops within the context of the parent-child relationship. Specifically, we posit that parents who have had supportive experiences with their own childhood caregivers develop a secure attachment and a high level of self-compassion. In turn, we propose that high self-compassion in parents promotes the parents' capacity to support their child when he or she experiences difficult emotions (e.g., anger, sadness). These responses promote the child's secure attachment, high self-compassion development and positive behavioral outcomes. A key area for future research is examining the potential link between parent self-compassion and responses to difficult emotions in the child. Given self-compassion can be enhanced through intervention, support for this model will have broad implications for interrupting intergenerational cycles of dysfunction caused by insecure attachment."
Lathern, C., Bluth, K., & Zvara, B. (2020). Parent self-compassion and supportive responses to child difficult emotion: An intergenerational theoretical model rooted in attachment. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 12(3), 368-381. doi:10.1111/jftr.12388