Maternal Socialization of Children's Emotion Knowledge

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jackie A. Nelson (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Marion O'Brien

Abstract: The relations between family emotional expressiveness and children's emotion knowledge were examined. Participants were 258 3.5-year-old children whose emotional knowledge was assessed; mothers reported on their emotion socialization practices and mothers and children were observed during an emotion-eliciting book-reading task. It was hypothesized that positive family expressiveness would be positively related to children's emotion knowledge, whereas negative family expressiveness would have a curvilinear association which would be moderated by additional forms of emotion socialization (parental responses to children's negative emotions and parental explanations about emotions) and child gender. Results showed a curvilinear relation for positive expressiveness and emotion knowledge and no association for negative expressiveness. An interaction between positive expressiveness and negative expressiveness was significant for boys, suggesting that boys have higher emotion knowledge when positive expressiveness is high but only in homes where negative expressiveness is low. Parental responses to negative emotions and explanations of emotions were directly related to emotion knowledge, but the moderation hypotheses were not supported. Results are discussed in terms of implications for how parents can be most effective in teaching their children about emotions.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
Emotional development, emotion socialization, family emotional expressiveness
Family--Psychological aspects
Emotional intelligence
Parent-Child Relations

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