Parents' reactions to elementary school children's negative emotions: Relations to social and emotional functioning at school

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

This study addressed the role of specific parenting practices in children's expression of emotion and social competence. The specific objective was to examine the relations of parents' reactions to children's negative emotions with children's social and emotional competence at school and to explore the moderating role of children's dispositional emotionality in this relation. A diverse sample of first to fourth graders was observed at school; teachers reported on children's social competence and affect, and parents reported on their reactions to their children's negative emotions and the intensity of children's negative emotions. Parental problem-focused reactions were positively related to socioemotional competence for boys but negatively associated for girls. Parental punitive/minimizing reactions were associated with low socioemotional competence. Moderating effects were obtained for emotion-focused (comforting) parental reactions: Children prone to intense negative emotions were especially low in socioemotional competence if their parents reported using high or average levels of these reactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-159
Number of pages27
JournalMerrill-Palmer Quarterly
Volume48
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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