Parental Emotion Socialization of Seventh and Eighth Graders: Gender Differences in Independent and Interdependent Self-Construals
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The primary goal of the present study was to assess linkages between parentsâ beliefs about childrenâ s emotions, parent-child discourse, and childrenâ s independent and interdependent self-construals with sixty 7th and 8th grade children. Children were interviewed with the Self-Guide Questionnaire (Higgins, Klein, & Strauman, 1985) and completed an independent and interdependent reaction time measure (Watson & Quatman, 2005). Childrenâ s self-guide responses were coded for independent and interdependent traits and behaviors. Parents completed the Parentsâ Beliefs about Childrenâ s Emotions Questionnaire (Halberstadt et al., 2008) to assess their beliefs about the danger of emotions and parentsâ and childrenâ s roles in emotion socialization. Parentsâ elaborative reminiscing style and both parent and child emotion labeling were measured through a cooperative game designed to elicit emotion-related discourse. Results showed that girls responded faster to interdependent traits and included more interdependent and connected self attributes than did boys, whereas boys included more independent and unique self attributes than did girls. Parents who believe children can guide their own emotion socialization elaborated less about their childrenâ s independent and interdependent memories. Their children who responded more slowly to both independent and interdependent traits, with a stronger effect for independent compared with interdependent traits. The interaction between parentsâ beliefs about the danger of emotions and about their guidance of their childâ s emotions was related to girlsâ , but not boysâ , balance of independent and interdependent traits in their self-construal. Results have implications for identifying beneficial developmental trajectories of positive adjustment and mental health.
- Doctoral Dissertations