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Parent’s Beliefs About Children’s Emotions and Parents’ Emotion-related Conversations with Their Children

Project Info

Project Description

Lozada, F. T., Halberstadt, A. G., Craig, A. B., Dennis, P. A., Dunsmore, J. C. (2016). Parent’s beliefs about children’s emotions and parents’ emotion-related conversations with their children. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25, 1525-1538. doi: 10.1007/s10826-026-0325-1

The goals of the current study were to describe parents’ emotion socialization patterns and to assess relations between parents’ emotion-related beliefs and socialization behaviors during conversations with their children. Participants were 125 parents and their 9- and 10-year-old children from three ethnic groups in the southeastern United States. Parents reported beliefs about children’s emotions. Parents and children were videotaped playing a board game to evoke emotion-related conversations, which were then coded for parents’ labeling, teaching, and encouragement of emotion. Parents used less labeling and teaching for positive than negative emotions, and greater encouragement for positive than negative emotions. Parents with stronger beliefs about the value of positive emotions engaged in less labeling of positive emotions, less teaching of all emotions, and less encouragement of negative emotions. Parents with stronger beliefs about the value of negative emotions engaged in more encouragement of negative emotions. Parents with stronger beliefs that all emotions are dangerous engaged in less labeling of negative emotions. The results of this study have potential clinical implications in helping clients to understand the foundational structures of their behaviors and how both beliefs and behaviors are distinct, yet interrelated constructs.