Emotion socialization practices among low-income African American mothers
Sims, Nelrose Chandler
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Parental socialization of emotion is associated with the development of emotion skills in children. Culture is recognized as an important factor in this process, but little research has investigated emotion socialization among low-income African American parents. Greater understanding of these practices is important considering the unique risk factors that African American children may encounter (e.g., poverty, discrimination). The present study measured parental emotion socialization, including a) awareness, b) acceptance, and c) coaching, as a function of emotion type (e.g., fear, anger, sadness) and child gender. Fifty mother-child dyads were recruited through community organizations and were administered the Meta-Emotion Interview—Parent Version. As hypothesized, maternal awareness of child anger was greater and coaching of child anger was less than for other emotions. A gender by emotion interaction emerged for parental acceptance of emotion. No significant gender effects emerged for parental awareness or coaching of emotion. The current study is an important initial investigation of parental emotion socialization practices in African American families.