Euro-American, Hispanic, children's books, emotions


How are children socialized to express emotion? One way in which emotion socialization occurs is through children’s books. This study examined if there are differences between the emotions portrayed in Euro- American and Hispanic children’s books. The study examined ten Euro- American and ten Hispanic children’s books. It focused on the facial expressions and postures displayed in the illustrations. Six primary emotions were examined in a facial coding scheme and global coding scheme. These six emotions were: surprise, fear, disgust, anger, happiness, and sadness. The results of the facial coding scheme revealed that there were significant differences in the strength of expression for surprise, disgust, happiness, and sadness. The Euro- American books displayed surprise and sadness more strongly than the Hispanic books, while the Hispanic books displayed disgust and happiness more strongly than the Euro- American books. For frequency of expression, fear and sadness were expressed more often in the Euro- American books, while happiness was expressed more frequently in the Hispanic books. There was strong validity between the global coding scheme and the facial coding scheme. A posture coding scheme was also used. This examined the display of several different emotional states: shame, like, dislike, pride, self-confidence, confused, relaxed, fear, anger, and disgust. There were only two significant differences in the type of emotion expressed through posture. Shame and anger were found to be significant. Both were expressed more in the Euro- American books.