USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)

First Advisor

James P. McHale, Ph.D. Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences

Second Advisor

Tiffanny Chenneville, Ph.D., College of Arts and Sciences


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available


Publication Date


Date Issued



In recent decades, research on the acquisition of self-regulatory strategies has increased. The toddler years are particularly important for both the family and the child concerning the development of appropriate self-regulatory strategies. Beginning in toddlerhood, children move from being other-regulated (parents helping the child to deal with emotions) as they begin to attempt to control their own emotions. During this transition, some children turn to aggressive strategies during times of frustration. This study aimed to examine the factors associated with the everyday instances of aggression in toddler behavior. I proposed to answer two questions in the study: Is there any evidence that coparenting support or antagonism is associated with, or plays a role in, toddler aggression? What are the immediate, contextual factors most proximally related to toddler's aggressive behavior as they attempt to regulate their emotions while waiting with mothers or with fathers during a frustration challenge? Results from the study suggest that coparenting conflict is associated with toddler aggression. In addition, unresponsivesness from the parent and parental reprimands often act as the antecedent preceding toddler's aggressive behavior.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

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