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   2012, Vol. 44 Issue (2) : 199-210     DOI:
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Relations among Parental Meta-Emotion Philosophy, Parental Emotion Expressivity, and Children’s Social Competence
LIANG Zong-Bao;ZHANG Guang-Zhen;CHEN Hui-Chang;ZHANG Ping
(1 Research Center for Learning Science/Key Laboratory of Child Development and Learning Science, Ministry of Education, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China)
(2 School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China)
(3 School of Social Developmental and Public Policy, FuDan University, Shanghai 200433, China)
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Abstract  Parental meta-emotion philosophy refers to parents’ feelings and behaviors toward their own and their children’s emotions. It reflects parental beliefs about emotion socialization. Research has indicated that maternal positive meta-emotion philosophy (e.g. emotion coaching) is associated with children’s emotional competence, social competence and that maternal negative meta-emotion philosophy (etc. emotion dismissing) is related with children’s behavior problem. However, little research has been conducted on paternal meta-emotion philosophy. Moreover, there is inadequate research on parental emotion noninvolvement and emotion dysfunction. It has been suggested that children’s competence may be a mediator of the relations between parental emotion socialization belief or goal and children’s social outcomes. It is also reasonable to argue that parents’ beliefs or goals about emotion may also affect their own emotion-related behavior and emotion expressivity. As such, parental emotion expressivity may play a mediated role in relations between parental emotion-related beliefs and children’s social competence.
The current study explored relations among parental meta-emotion philosophy, emotion expressivity, and children’s social competence. We hypothesized that parental emotion expressivity would mediate the relations between parental meta-emotion philosophy and children’s social competence. Three hundred and forty one children aged 3-5 years and their parents participated in the study. Child social competence was assessed using the Early School Behavior Rating Scale reported by mothers. Fathers and mothers reported their own emotion expressivity using the Self-Expressiveness in the Family Questionnaire and meta-emotion philosophy using the Parental Meta-Emotion Philosophy Scale.
Multiple regression analyses and path analyses revealed the following results. First, paternal emotion coaching philosophy was positively associated with children’s social competence, and paternal emotion dysfunction philosophy was negatively associated with children’s social competence. Paternal positive expressivity was positively associated with children’s social competence whereas paternal negative emotional expressivity was negatively associated with children’s social competence. Paternal positive and negative emotion expressivity mediated relations between paternal emotion coaching and children’s social competence. In addition, paternal negative emotion expressivity mediated relations between paternal emotion dysfunction and children’s social competence. Second, maternal emotion coaching philosophy was positively associated with children’s social competence, and maternal emotion dysfunctional philosophy was negatively associated with children’s social competence. Further, maternal positive emotional expressivity was positively associated with children’s social competence, but negative emotional expressivity was not associated with children’s social competence. The relation between maternal emotion coaching and children’s social competence was mediated by maternal emotion expressivity. These results indicated that parental emotion-related beliefs or goals not only were directly associated with children’s social competence, but also had indirect effects on children’s social competence through emotion-related reflection and behavior.
Corresponding Authors: CHEN Hui-Chang;ZHANG Guang-Zhen   
Issue Date: 28 February 2012
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LIANG Zong-Bao,ZHANG Guang-Zhen,CHEN Hui-Chang,ZHANG Ping. Relations among Parental Meta-Emotion Philosophy, Parental Emotion Expressivity, and Children’s Social Competence[J]. ,2012, 44(2): 199-210.
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http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/Y2012/V44/I2/199
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