Objective. This study examines the importance of mothers' reports of their family histories of emotional expressiveness to the manner in which they socialize emotion in their children and the role of child gender as a moderator of that relation. Design. One-hundred and thirty-five mothers and their 3-year-olds participated. Mothers completed the Family Expressiveness Questionnaire to assess accounts of family-of-origin expressiveness. Current emotional expressiveness toward the child was coded during home observations, and maternal emotional scaffolding was coded from structured laboratory tasks. Results. Relations between reports of family-of-origin expressiveness and current parenting emerged for the active-negative form of expressiveness. Child gender moderated associations of active-negative expressiveness to both measures of parenting such that histories of higher active-negative expressiveness related more negatively to emotional scaffolding and more positively to current negativity in the home for sons than for daughters. Conclusions. A mother's reported family-of-origin emotional expressiveness is important to understanding the manner in which she socializes emotion in her child. Furthermore, a mother's recollection of her family history can interact with child gender in its association with current parenting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology