The relations of parental warmth and positive expressiveness to children's empathy-related responding and social functioning: A longitudinal study

Qing Zhou, Nancy Eisenberg, Sandra Losoya, Richard Fabes, Mark Reiser, Ivanna K. Guthrie, Bridget C. Murphy, Amanda J. Cumberland, Stephanie A. Shepard

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

242 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the concurrent and cross-time relations of parental observed warmth and positive expressivity to children's situational facial and self-reported empathic responding, social competence, and externalizing problems in a sample of 180 elementary school children. Data was collected when the children were in second to fifth grades (age: M = 112.8 months), and again 2 years later. Cross-sectional and longitudinal structural equation models supported the hypothesis that parents' (mostly mothers') positive expressivity mediated the relation between parental warmth and children's empathy, and children's empathy mediated the relation between parental positive expressivity and children's social functioning. These relations persisted after controlling for prior levels of parenting and child characteristics. Moreover, concurrent and cross-time consistencies were found on measures of parenting, children's situational empathic responding, and social functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)893-915
Number of pages23
JournalChild development
Volume73
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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