This study examined whether mothers and fathers reported using different emotion socialization strategies and whether these differences were related to preschoolers' gender and emotional expressiveness during peer play. Ninety percent of the children were Caucasian, 6% were Asian-American, and 4% were Mexican-American. The positive expressive behavior of 82 preschoolers participating in two conflict eliciting situations with two same gender peers were coded. The scores for the two sessions were averaged. All of the mothers and 63 of the fathers were administered three emotion socialization questionnaires. Results revealed that girls expressed more positive emotion than boys. In addition, mothers and fathers also reported using different emotion socialization practices and, in some cases, this was dependent upon their child's gender. The findings also showed that mothers' and fathers' reports of emotion socialization practices were differentially related to children's emotionally expressive behavior during peer play. In addition, fathers' emotion socialization practices accounted for unique variance in children's emotionally expressive behavior over and above that explained by the maternal emotion socialization variables. These findings highlight the importance of mothers' and fathers' emotion socialization practices for preschoolers' emotional competence in emotionally challenging situations with peers.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 22, 2004
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