Parental reactions to infants' and toddlers' negative emotions : parenting antecedents and child outcomes

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Frankel, Leslie Ann, 1984-

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The present study provides information about the relationships between parental reactions to their children‘s expression of negative emotions at 8 months, parent-infant attachment at 12 and 15 months and parental reactions to children‘s negative emotional expressions at 24 months, and as well as the extent to which all of these variables predict children‘s emotional expressivity as toddlers at 24 months, after controlling for infant emotional reactivity. Analyses showed that parental responses to infant negative emotions, insecure attachment and parental responses to toddlers‘ negative emotions as well as infant emotional reactivity all made independent contributions to predicting toddler negative (vs. positive) affect. Only insecure infant-parent attachment, not parental socialization or infant emotional reactivity, predicted toddler flat (vs. expressive) affect. The inclusion of fathers in this study is important not only to clarify how mothers and fathers differ in socializing their children‘s negative emotions, but also to have a more complete study of how emotional expressivity develops. Analyses conducted separately by parent gender revealed differences in the relationship between parental socialization, attachment and emotional expressivity across mothers and fathers, indicating that researchers should continue to include fathers in studies of socialization of emotional expressivity.



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