emotion norms, children’s storybooks, cross-cultural comparison, acculturation, emotion expression


Latin American Languages and Societies


Cultural artifacts such as children’s storybooks may serve to facilitate learning of emotion display norms. We compared emotion displays in European American and Mexican books to infer cultural differences between the mainstream and a heritage culture to ultimately explore acculturation orientation in Hispanic storybooks. Totally, 1,059 images were coded from 10 popular storybooks from each cultural group. We focused on emotion type (positive, negative socially engaging, and disengaging) and intensity of expression. Context variables such as social partners and gender were also compared. Positive emotions were dominant in all groups, occurring most in Hispanic storybooks; Mexican and Hispanic storybooks displayed negative socially disengaging emotions less than negative socially engaging emotions. Hispanic storybooks displayed lowest intensity of expression, especially for female characters. Results indicated that Hispanic storybooks showed similarities to the mainstream culture in general features and similarities to the heritage culture in emotion-type display. However, some emotion norms deviated from both groups, indicating minority effects of Hispanic culture.

Original Citation

Sanders, V. R., Friedlmeier, W., & Sanchez Gonzalez, M. L. (2018). Emotion Norms in Media: Acculturation in Hispanic Children’s Storybooks Compared to Heritage and Mainstream Cultures. SAGE Open, 8(3), 2158244018788607.