Title page for ETD etd-05052008-134455

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Perez-Rivera, Marie Belle
Author's Email Address mbperez@vt.edu
URN etd-05052008-134455
Title Mothers’ beliefs about emotions, mother-child emotion discourse, and children’s emotion understanding in Latino families
Degree Master of Science
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dunsmore, Julie C. Committee Chair
Axsom, Daniel K. Committee Member
Cooper, Robin K. Panneton Committee Member
Gillman, Laura J. Committee Member
  • beliefs
  • acculturation
  • emotion understanding
  • emotion socialization
  • Latino
  • emotion talk
Date of Defense 2008-04-23
Availability unrestricted
The purpose of this study was to better understand associations between acculturation, parental beliefs, mother-child emotion talk, and emotion understanding in Latino preschool-aged children. Research on Latino families may prove to be important given the little research that has focused on emotion understanding strictly in Latino cultures. Forty Latino mother-child dyads were observed throughout a series of naturalistic observations. Mothers self-reported their acculturation and their beliefs about the value and danger of children’s emotions, children’s emotional development processes, and their role in guiding their children’s emotions. Mother-child emotion talk and framing was measured during a 15 minute story-telling task using a Lego house and through a wordless picture book. Children’s emotion understanding was measured using two standard tasks. Results showed that mothers’ acculturation was related to their beliefs about the danger of emotions, their role in guiding their child’s emotions, and their child’s readiness to learn about emotions. Mothers’ acculturation was also related to children’s emotion understanding. Mothers’ beliefs about guiding children’s emotions were related to mothers’ labeling of emotions and to children’s emotion understanding. This study confirms and expands several previous findings relating to emotion socialization of children. Overall, results highlight the importance of acculturation for parents’ beliefs about emotions and children’s emotion understanding.

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