Emotion Socialization by Mothers and Fathers: Coherence among Behaviors and Associations with Parent Attitudes and Children's Social Competence

Jason K. Baker, Rachel M. Fenning, Keith Crnic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined inter-relations among different types of parental emotion socialization behaviors in 88 mothers and 76 fathers (co-residing with participating mothers) of eight-year-old children. Parents completed questionnaires assessing emotion socialization behaviors, emotion-related attitudes, and their children's social functioning. An observed parent-child emotion discourse task and a child social problem-solving interview were also performed. Parent gender differences and concordance within couples in emotion socialization behaviors were identified for some but not all behaviors. Fathers' reactions to child emotion, family expressiveness, and fathers' emotion coaching during discussion cohered, and a model was supported in which the commonality among these behaviors was predicted by fathers' emotion-coaching attitudes, and was associated with children's social competence. A cohesive structure for the emotion socialization construct was less clear for mothers, although attitudes predicted all three types of emotion socialization behavior (reactions, expressiveness, and coaching). Implications for developmental theory and for parent-focused interventions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-430
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Development
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2011

Keywords

  • Emotion
  • Parenting
  • Social competence
  • Socialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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