Maternal Expressive Style and Children's Emotional Development

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Susan D. Calkins, Professor (Creator)
Esther M. Leerkes, Professor (Creator)
Stuart Marcovitch, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Psychology (Creator)
Marion O'Brien, Professor, Director of Family Research Center and Associate Dean for Research (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Maternal expressive styles, based on a combination of positive and negative expressive patterns, were identified at two points in time and related to multiple aspects of preschool children's emotional development. Mother–child pairs from 260 families participated when the children were 3?years old, and 240 participated again at aged 4?years. Expressive styles were identified at age 3 using cluster analysis, replicated at age 4 and examined in relation to children's emotional understanding, expressiveness and regulation. Three expressive styles were identified: high positive/low negative, very low positive/average negative and average positive/very high negative. Cluster membership was stable in 63% of families from age 3 to 4?years; no systematic patterns of change were evident in the remaining families. Expressive style was related to aspects of children's emotional expression at 3?years and to emotion expression and regulation at 4?years. Children's expressiveness and regulation at age 3 were also related to changes in mothers' expressive styles over 1?year. Identifying mothers' expressive styles provides a unique way to understand the potential role of the emotional climates in which preschool-aged children learn to express and regulate their own emotions

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
emotional climate, positive expressiveness, negative expressiveness, emotion knowledge, emotional expression, emotion regulation

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