Children's early emotion regulation strategies (ERS) have been related to externalizing problems; however, most studies have included predominantly European American, middle-class children. The current study explores whether ERS use may have differential outcomes as a function of the mother's ethnic culture. The study utilizes two diverse samples of low-income male toddlers to examine observed ERS during a delay of gratification task in relation to maternal and teacher reports of children's externalizing behavior 2 to 6 years later. Although the frequencies of ERS were comparable between ethnic groups in both samples, the use of physical comfort seeking and self-soothing was positively related to African American children's later externalizing behavior but negatively related to externalizing behavior for European American children in Sample 1. Data from Sample 2 appear to support this pattern for self-soothing in maternal, but not teacher, report of externalizing behavior. Within group differences by income were examined as a possible explanatory factor accounting for the ethnic differences, but it was not supported. Alternative explanations are discussed to explain the pattern of findings.