This study examined the intergenerational transmission of parental invalidation and whether parental difficulties in emotion regulation mediated the association between past experiences of invalidation and current invalidating parenting practices. We also aimed to investigate whether gender might influence the transmission of parental invalidation. We recruited a community sample of 293 dual-parent families (adolescent and their parents) based in Singapore. Parents and adolescents each completed measures of childhood invalidation, whereas parents additionally reported on their difficulties in emotion regulation. Results based on path analyses demonstrated that past parental invalidation experienced by fathers positively predicted current perceived invalidation by their children. The association between mothers' childhood invalidation and current invalidating practices was fully mediated by mothers' difficulties with emotion regulation. Further analyses revealed that parents' current invalidating behaviors were not predicted by their past experiences of paternal or maternal invalidation. These findings point to the importance of considering the family invalidating environment as a whole when examining the influence of past experienced parental invalidation on emotion regulation and invalidating behaviors of second-generation parents. Our study provides empirical support for the intergenerational transmission of parental invalidation and highlights the need to address childhood experiences of parental invalidation in parenting programs.
- difficulties in emotion regulation
- intergenerational transmission