Reference : The role of parents in children’s emotional ability.
Scientific congresses, symposiums and conference proceedings : Unpublished conference
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Treatment & clinical psychology
http://hdl.handle.net/10993/42947
The role of parents in children’s emotional ability.
English
Pinto Costa, Andreia mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Integrative Research Unit: Social and Individual Development (INSIDE) >]
Steffgen, Georges mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Integrative Research Unit: Social and Individual Development (INSIDE) >]
Vögele, Claus mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Integrative Research Unit: Social and Individual Development (INSIDE) >]
2017
Yes
International Conference of Psychological Science
03-2017
[en] Understanding the processes that lead to different emotional responses in children is important for prevention and intervention programs aimed at improving developmental outcomes. Among the many factors that can influence children’s emotional reactivity and emotion regulation, parents and the way they interact with their children can impact children’s emotional responses. Even though the influence of parents in children’s emotional responses has been extensively studied during infancy and toddlerhood, the way parents interact with their preschool and school-aged children during upsetting moments has received little attention.
The present study aimed at examining the effects of parental presence and parental interaction during a frustration-eliciting situation on preschoolers’ and school-aged children’s emotional reactivity and emotion regulation. More specifically, it aimed at examining whether parents’ presence during a frustration-eliciting situation (attractive toy removal) influences children’s emotional reactivity and emotion regulation. Moreover, whether children whose parents interact with them differ in emotional reactivity and emotion regulation from those whose parents do not interact with them.
A convenience sample of 66 children (19 girls) together with one of their parents participated in the study. Children were aged between 3 and 13 years (Mage=8.65; SDage=2.32) and parents were aged between 26 to 53 years (Mage=40.38; SDage=5.22). For 41 children, parents were present during the frustration-eliciting situation. For the remaining 25 children, parents were absent. Children and parents who were present were videotaped during the situation. Parents’ interaction with their children, children’s emotional reactivity, and children’s emotion regulation during the situation were coded by 2 independent observers. Ethical approval as well as parents’ and children’s informed consent was obtained before conducting the study.
It was found that children whose parents were present, compared to children whose parents were absent, expressed more positive emotions [t(63)=3.19, p<.01, r=.37] and less neutral emotions [t(64)=2.92, p<.01, r=.34], but did not differ in the amount of negative emotions [t(64)=0.28, p=.78, r=.03], or in the use of adaptive emotion regulation strategies [t(64)=0.99, p=.33, r=.12]. Regarding parents’ interaction, it was found that children of parents who interacted with them, compared to children of parents who did not interact with them, expressed less neutral emotions [t(39)=2.80, p<.01, r=.41], expressed more positive [t(39)=2.01, p=.05, r=.31] and more negative emotions [t(33)=2.30, p<.05, r=.37], and used more emotion regulation strategies [t(39)=2.55, p<.05, r=.38].
These results show that parents’ presence can have an influence in preschoolers’ and school-aged children’s positive reactivity but not in children’s negative reactivity or in the use of adaptive emotion regulation strategies. Furthermore, when present, parents’ interaction with their children is related to children’s lower neutrality, and to higher positive and negative reactivity. It is also related to children’s use of more adaptive emotion regulation strategies. These results suggest that, either because parents interact more with reactive children, or because children are more expressive with interactive parents, parents’ interaction is related to children’s reactivity and better regulation.
Including parents in interventions and providing parents with training on emotional support for their children may be beneficial for improving developmental outcomes in children with emotional difficulties.
http://hdl.handle.net/10993/42947

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