Emotional reactivity, aggression, and peer liking: the roles of gender and maternal socialization of negative emotions

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Louise E. Berdan (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Susan P. Keane

Abstract: The purpose of study 1 was to explore the interaction between emotional reactivity and maternal socialization of anger as it predicts physical and relational aggression. Gender differences in this relation were hypothesized and explored. Participants included 365 children evaluated at kindergarten and second grade assessments. For boys, high emotional reactivity and low maternal distress predicted the highest level of physical aggression. The opposite relation was found when predicting boys' relational aggression. Namely, high emotional reactivity and high maternal distress predicted the highest level of relational aggression. In contrast, emotionally reactive girls displayed the highest level of relational aggression in the context of high maternal minimization of anger. No relations emerged for girls' physical aggression. The goal of study 2 was to extend findings from study 1 by looking at peer implications related to aggressive behaviors. In particular, two separate gender-specific mediated moderation pathways were hypothesized and confirmed. For boys, the following pathway emerged: Emotional Reactivity × Distress Reactions → Physical Aggression → Low Peer Liking. For girls, the following pathway emerged: Emotional Reactivity × Minimization Reactions → Relational Aggression → Low Peer Liking.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2009
Emotion, Socialization, Emotional Reactivity, Peer Liking, Physical Aggression, Relational Aggression
Aggressiveness in children $x Sex differences.
Mother and child $x Psychological aspects.
Parental influences $x Social aspects.
Social interaction in children $x Psychological aspects.
Emotions in children $x Sex differences.

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