Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants

Title

Coping with 2-Year-Old Children's Emotions: A Comparison Between Caucasian and Hispanic Mothers

Department

Psychology

College

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range

2010-2011

Abstract

Most studies on parental socialization practices regarding their children's emotions were carried out in the U.S. using Caucasian families mostly using the self-report measure CCNES: Supportive strategies (e.g., expressive encouragement) are seen as highly important for a healthy emotional development in children, whereas non-supportive strategies (e.g., minimization) may lead to emotion regulation difficulties. The goal of this study is to focus on methodological questions about CCNES when studying socialization strategies from a cultural perspective and to analyze ethnic differences between Caucasian and Hispanic mothers' socialization practices. First, the fixed format of the CCNES does not allow exploring possible culture-specific answers. Second, the assessment of caregivers' strategies does not differentiate between powerful and powerless negative emotions. Third, positive emotions are left out in the CCNES vignettes. Thirty Caucasian and 30 Hispanic mothers with a 2-year-old child were asked about their reactions to CCNES-similar emotion loaden vignettes which involve the child. The open answers were transcribed and coded. Beside the six CCNES strategies, some other strategies were mentioned, e.g. "non-acceptability": some Hispanic mothers mentioned that they will tell the child that the reaction is not acceptable by referring to social norms. Regarding positive emotions, some mothers reported to mirror the child's positive expression but some mothers also reported to apply non-supportive strategies. The open answers led to interesting insights into culture-specific differences that go beyond a standardized instrument. The methodological implications for future studies will be discussed.

Conference Name

SRCD Biennial Meeting 2011

Conference Location

Montreal, Canada



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