Parental Socialization of Positive and Negative Emotions: Associations with Children?s Everyday Coping and Display Rule Knowledge

by Parker, Alison E

Abstract (Summary)
This study investigated relationships among parents? self-reported emotion-related beliefs and behaviors, children?s display rule knowledge for positive and negative emotions, and children?s coping with everyday peer stressors. One hundred and thirteen 6th graders and their parents were recruited from middle schools to participate. Children were interviewed about their display rule knowledge for various emotions, as well as their coping with peer stressors. Parents completed self-report questionnaires regarding their beliefs about emotion, their reactions to children?s positive and negative emotions, and their emotion expressiveness in the family. Relationships among parents? beliefs, reactions, and emotion expressivity were found. Specifically, parents? beliefs that positive emotions are good predicted parents? positive expressiveness and beliefs that positive emotions are dangerous predicted parents? controlling of children?s positive emotions. Parents? beliefs that negative emotions are good did not predict parents? negative expressiveness; however, these beliefs did predict parents? encouragement of children?s negative emotions. Parental guidance beliefs were also related to their emotion expressiveness. Parents? belief that it is the parents? job to teach children about emotions was positively related to their own positive emotion expressiveness, whereas parents? belief that children should learn on their own was related to their own negative emotion expressiveness. Additionally, relationships were established between parents? self-reported beliefs and behaviors, parent education, child gender, and their children?s reports of coping with everyday peer stress. Child gender and education explained some of the variance in children?s coping. Parents? beliefs about the value and guidance of emotions, negative emotion expressiveness, and reactions to children?s displays of positive emotions predicted children?s use of coping strategies. Lastly, gender moderated the relationships between parents? punishing reactions to children?s negative emotions and children?s display rule knowledge for negative emotions, and between parents? teaching/controlling reactions to children?s positive emotions and children?s display rule knowledge for positive emotions. Parents? controlling and punishing reactions were associated with better display rule knowledge for boys, but not for girls. Implications for parental socialization of emotion and its impact on children?s social competence in peer-related settings are discussed, as well as ideas for future research.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Amy Halberstadt

School:North Carolina State University

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:09/29/2006

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