Papers from the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology Conferences

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One of the most important developments in childhood is the development of emotional expression and its regulation. The capacity for the deliberate modulation of one’s behavior and emotion develops mainly in the second year, and it is considered a key developmental milestone that markedly transforms the child’s ability to function in the social environment (Kochanska, Coy, & Murray, 2001; Maccoby, 2007). Social norms, established by culture, dictate how, where, when and to whom specific emotions are expressed (Garrett-Peters & Fox, 2007). These norms are specific rules taught in a specific culture and dictate which emotional expressions are socially desirable in certain social contexts, and are the basis for emotional regulation (Ekman & Friesen, 1975; Matsumoto, 1990). Previous studies have shown that there are cultural differences in emotional expression among various cultures (e.g., Garrett-Peters & Fox, 2007). The present study compares the type and intensity of the child’s emotional expression and parental practices of socialization in two ethnic groups: Israeli Jews and Arabs. This comparison was aimed to contribute to the existing scientific knowledge in this field, and provide insight into the differences and similarities between the ethnic models of emotions, as well as the practices of socialization strategies regarding regulating emotions and emotional behavior of children.

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