Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science

The Socialization of Emotional Expression: Relations with Prosocial Behaviour and Competence in Five Samples

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science

The Socialization of Emotional Expression: Relations with Prosocial Behaviour and Competence in Five Samples

Article excerpt

Abstract

This paper reports on five studies that focused on the socialization of emotions and children's prosocial behaviour and ego resilience in preschool. Parents reported their socialization practices using a 99-item version of Block's Child Rearing Practices Q-sort, and teachers assessed children's competence using Baumrind's Preschool Behavior Q-sort. Meta-analytic techniques were used to combine correlational results across samples (3 from Ontario and 2 from British Columbia). In all, 150 families participated; children's mean age = 4.2 years; 57% were girls. Nearly 79% of all comparisons replicated across samples, 18% with mean rs >.30. Consistent with the cognitive-emotional processing model (Roberts & Strayer, 1987), (1) children's ego-resilient and prosocial behaviours were related to parents' tolerant, non-punitive responses to emotional distress; (2) partial correlations supported the contention that emotional socialization practices affect outcomes independently of other dimensions of parenting; and (3) longitudinal data (available for one sample) indicated that greater emphasis on emotional control was related to declines in boys' friendly, ego-resilient behaviours 21/2 years later. However, consistent with emotion regulation models, parenting practices that emphasized the control of emotional expression were sometimes positively related to contemporary measures of competence.

Resume

Cet article rend compte des resultats de cinq etudes portant sur la socialisation des emotions, le comportement prosocial des enfants et la souplesse du moi a l'age prescolaire. Les parents ont decrit leurs pratiques de socialisation en repondant a 99 questions inspirees du test de classement Q de Block. Les enseignants quant a eux ont evalue la competence des enfants a l'aide d'un test semblable, mais fonde dans ce cas-ci sur la technique de classification Q de Baumrind mesurant les attitudes prescolaires. On a eu recours aux techniques meta-analytiques pour combiner les resultats correlatifs, tous echantillons confondus (3 en Ontario et 2 en Colombie-Britannique).

Au total, 150 familles ont participe a ces etudes, l'age moyen des enfants interroges, dont 57 % etaient des filles, etait de 4,2 ans. Pres de 79% de toutes les comparaisons se sont repetees d'un echantillon a l'autre, 18% avec un score brut < .30. D'apres le modele de traitement cognitif et emotionnel (Roberts & Strayer, 1987), (1) on a etabli un rapport entre, d'une part, la souplesse du moi et les comportements prosociaux des enfants, d'autre part, la tolerance et les interventions non punitives des parents face aux troubles emotifs de leurs enfants; (2) des correlations partielles ont donne du poids a la theorie voulant que les pratiques de socialisation des emotions influent sur les resultats independamment d'autres aspects du role parental; (3) les donnees longitudinales (disponibles pour un echantillon) ont revele un lien entre la periode ou les parents insistent davantage sur la necessite de controler ses emotions et la manifestation chez les garcons d'un comportement moins amical et d'une moins grande souplesse du moi deux ans et demi plus tard. Toutefois, d'apres les modeles de regularisation des emotions, les pratiques parentales qui preconisent le controle des expressions emotionnelles ont ete liees positivement dans certains cas aux mesures actuelles de la competence.

This paper is a report of a series of studies that investigated parents' responses to the emotional distress of their children (i.e., to their expressed anger, fear, and sadness) and assessed the relation of these responses to children's competence in preschool. A major goal was to replicate and extend findings reported in Roberts and Strayer (1987), especially vis-a-vis the model described there linking the socialization of emotional expression with basic aspects of children's competence, in particular, their resourcefulness (ego resilience) and cooperative, prosocial behaviour with peers. …

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