Father Emotion Socialization and Children’s Emotion Regulation
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Human Sciences Honors Theses; 2014
The ability to regulate emotional responses is an important skill for children to acquire that can be beneficial in school settings and social interactions. Although links between maternal socialization and child emotion regulation are established, little is known about effects of father emotion socialization on children’s development of emotion regulation. This study examined the association between father emotion socialization and children’s emotion regulation in early childhood. Three-year-old children (N = 40) participated in a series of emotion-eliciting tasks in a research lab and carried an iPod Touch that recorded their activities and conversations in naturalistic home settings on a “typical weekend day.” Audio recordings of home activities were coded for fathers’ presence, attempts to comfort children’s negative emotions, labeling of children’s emotions and yelling at children. Children’s positive and negative affective expressions were coded from the laboratory of the Elmo task where they played with an Elmo with their mothers. Regression analysis showed: (1) Father’s positive mood was associated with children’s positive mood in the home setting (β = 0.41, p = 0.01); (2) Father emotion coaching was negatively associated with child negative mood in the naturalistic setting (β = -0.31, p = 0.05); and (3) Father negative mood was associated with more expressed fear when playing with a Tickle-Me-Elmo in a lab setting (β = 0.42, p = 0.01). These findings suggest that fathers play an important role in children’s emotion socialization. This highlights the importance of high quality fathering.
Academic Major: Human Development and Family Science
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