Gender Differences in Parent–Child Emotion Narratives

Gender Differences in Parent–Child Emotion Narratives Early parent–child conversations about past emotional experiences provide a rich environment for the socialization of emotions. This study explored the role of parent and child gender in this process. Participants were 21 White, middle-class, 40- to 45-month-old children and their mothers and fathers. At separate home visits, each parent discussed with their child four specific past events during which the child experienced happiness, anger, sadness, and fear, respectively. Mothers conversed more overall, talked more about emotional aspects of the experience, and used more emotion words than did fathers. Similarly, girls talked more about emotional aspects of their experiences than did boys. Further, girls used more emotion words when discussing scary events than did boys. Most intriguingly, both mothers and fathers used more emotional utterances when discussing sad events with daughters than with sons. Parent–daughter dyads also placed emotional experiences in a more interpersonal context than did parent–son dyads. Implications for the development of gender, emotional understanding, and clinical repercussions are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Gender Differences in Parent–Child Emotion Narratives

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1007091207068
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Early parent–child conversations about past emotional experiences provide a rich environment for the socialization of emotions. This study explored the role of parent and child gender in this process. Participants were 21 White, middle-class, 40- to 45-month-old children and their mothers and fathers. At separate home visits, each parent discussed with their child four specific past events during which the child experienced happiness, anger, sadness, and fear, respectively. Mothers conversed more overall, talked more about emotional aspects of the experience, and used more emotion words than did fathers. Similarly, girls talked more about emotional aspects of their experiences than did boys. Further, girls used more emotion words when discussing scary events than did boys. Most intriguingly, both mothers and fathers used more emotional utterances when discussing sad events with daughters than with sons. Parent–daughter dyads also placed emotional experiences in a more interpersonal context than did parent–son dyads. Implications for the development of gender, emotional understanding, and clinical repercussions are discussed.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 16, 2004

References

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