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Document Type

Open Access

Degree Program

Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded

2012

Month Degree Awarded

September

Keywords

culture, emotion socialization, emotion regulation, preschool, parenting, behavior problems

Abstract

Objective:The present study examined mothers’ emotion socialization of 3-year–old children with behavior problems, to determine whether emotion socialization practices, as well as the relation between these practices and child functioning, varied across ethnicities. Method: Participants were 156 preschoolers with behavior problems. Mothers were European American (n = 98), Latina American (n = 40; predominately Puerto Rican), and African American (n = 18). Audio taped mother-child interactions were coded for emotion socialization behaviors. Results: Overall, this study provided evidence for both differences and similarities across ethnicities on parental emotion socialization practices. Ethnic differences in use of emotion socialization practices were only found for mothers’ emotion focused reactions, minimizing reactions, and non-responses to negative affect. However, ethnic differences emerged in the relations between emotion socialization practices and child functioning. Several emotion socialization parental behaviors were differentially related to current child internalizing and externalizing problems across ethnic groups. Conclusions: Results provide some support for the existence of cultural differences in emotion socialization practices and their associated child outcomes.

First Advisor

Elizabeth Harvey

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