Advertisement

Culture and Brain

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 172–189 | Cite as

Savoring or dampening? Maternal reactions to children’s positive emotions in cultural contexts

  • Qingfang SongEmail author
  • Yang Yang
  • Stacey N. Doan
  • Qi Wang
Original Research Article

Abstract

This study examined in cultural contexts maternal reactions to children’s positive emotions and the relations to children’s socio-emotional outcomes. European American (EA) and Chinese immigrant (CI) mothers reported their reactions to children’s (N = 117, M = 7.14 years) positive emotions. Children were interviewed for emotion knowledge and mothers rated children’s psychological adjustment. CI mothers reported to use emotion dampening reactions more than did EA mothers. Whereas maternal savoring reactions were associated with better adaptive adjustment across cultures, maternal dampening reactions were negatively associated with children’s emotion knowledge at marginal significance for EA but not for CI children. The findings shed critical light on the functional meaning of parental emotion socialization practices for shaping developmental outcomes in specific cultural contexts.

Keywords

Emotion socialization Culture Emotion knowledge Psychological adjustment 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by Grant BCS-0721171 from the National Science Foundation to Qi Wang. We thank members of the Cornell Culture & Social Cognition Lab for their assistance.

References

  1. Barrett, K. C., & Campos, J. J. (1987). Perspectives on emotional development II: A functionalist approach to emotions. In J. D. Osofsky (Ed.), Handbook of infant development (pp. 556–578)., Wiley series on personality processes Oxford: Wiley.Google Scholar
  2. Bryant, F. B., & Veroff, J. (2007). Savoring: A new model of positive experience. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  3. Calkins, S. D. (1994). Origins and outcomes of individual differences in emotion regulation. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development,59, 53–72.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5834.1994.tb01277.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Camras, L. A., Sun, K., Li, Y., & Wright, M. F. (2012). Do Chinese and American children’s interpretations of parenting moderate links between perceived parenting and child adjustment? Parenting,12, 306–327.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15295192.2012.709154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cassano, M. C., & Zeman, J. L. (2010). Parental socialization of sadness regulation in middle childhood: The role of expectations and gender. Developmental Psychology,46, 1214–1226.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0019851.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Chao, R. K. (1994). Beyond parental control and authoritarian parenting style: Understanding Chinese parenting through the cultural notion of training. Child Development,65(4), 1111–1119.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.1994.tb00806.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Chiu, L. (1987). Child-rearing attitudes of Chinese, Chinese-American, and Anglo-American mothers. International Journal of Psychology,22, 409–419.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00207598708246782.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Deater-Deckard, K., & Dodge, K. A. (1997). Externalizing behavior problems and discipline revisited: Nonlinear effects and variation by culture, context, and gender. Psychological Inquiry,8(3), 161–175.  https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327965pli0803_1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Denham, S. A., Mitchell-Copeland, J., Strandberg, K., Auerbach, S., & Blair, K. (1997). Parental contributions to preschoolers’ emotional competence: Direct and indirect effects. Motivation and Emotion,21(1), 65–86.  https://doi.org/10.1023/a:1024426431247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Denham, S. A., Zoller, D., & Couchoud, E. A. (1994). Socialization of preschoolers’ emotion understanding. Developmental Psychology,30, 928–936.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.30.6.928.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Diener, D. (2000). Subjective well-being: The science of happiness and a proposal for a national index. American Psychologist,55, 34–43.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.34.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Doan, S. N., Lee, H. Y., & Wang, Q. (2019). Maternal mental state language is associated with trajectories of Chinese immigrant children’s emotion situation knowledge. International Journal of Behavioral Development,43, 43–52.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0165025418783271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Doan, S. N., & Wang, Q. (2010). Maternal discussions of mental states and behaviors: Relations to emotion situation knowledge in European American and immigrant Chinese children. Child Development,81(5), 1490–1503.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01487.x.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. Doan, S. N., & Wang, Q. (2018). Children's emotion knowledge and internalizing problems: The moderating role of culture. Transcultural Psychiatry, 55, 689–709.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1363461518792731 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dunn, J., & Brown, J. (1994). Affect expression in the family, children’s understanding of emotions, and their interactions with others. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly,40, 120–137.Google Scholar
  16. Eisenberg, N., Fabes, R. A., & Murphy, B. C. (1996). Parents’ reactions to children’s negative emotions: Relations to children’s social competence and comforting behavior. Child Development,67(5), 2227–2247.  https://doi.org/10.2307/1131620.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Eisenberg, N., Fabes, R. A., Shepard, S. A., Guthrie, I. K., Murphy, B. C., & Reiser, M. (1999). Parental reactions to children’s negative emotions: Longitudinal relations to quality of children’s social functioning. Child Development,70(2), 513–534.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8624.00037.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  18. Fabes, R. A., Eisenberg, N., & Bernzweig, J. (1990). Coping with children’s negative emotions scale (CCNES): Description and scoring. Tempe, AZ: Arizona State University.Google Scholar
  19. Fabes, R. A., Poulin, R. E., Eisenberg, N., & Madden-Derdich, D. A. (2002). The Coping with Children’s Negative Emotions Scale (CCNES): Psychometric properties and relations with children’s emotional competence. Marriage & Family Review,34(3–4), 285–310.  https://doi.org/10.1300/J002v34n03_05.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Feagans, L., & Farrans, D. (1997). Adaptive language inventory (ALI). Chapel Hill, NC: Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center.Google Scholar
  21. Fredrick, J. W., Mancini, K. J., & Luebbe, A. M. (2018). Maternal enhancing responses to adolescents’ positive affect: Associations with adolescents’ positive affect regulation and depression. Social Development.  https://doi.org/10.1111/sode.12326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fredrickson, B. L. (1998). What good are positive emotions? Review of General Psychology,2, 300–319.  https://doi.org/10.1037/1089-2680.2.3.300.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  23. Fredrickson, B. L. (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American Psychologist,56, 218–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Fredrickson, B. L. (2004). The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences,359, 1367–1378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Fredrickson, B. L., & Joiner, T. (2002). Positive emotions trigger upward spirals toward emotional well-being. Psychological Science,13, 172–175.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9280.00431.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Friedlmeier, W., Corapci, F., & Cole, P. M. (2011). Emotion socialization in cross-cultural perspective. Social and Personality Psychology Compass,5(7), 410–427.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-9004.2011.00362.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fuchs, D., & Thelen, M. H. (1988). Children’s expected interpersonal consequences of communicating their affective state and reported likelihood of expression. Child Development,59, 1314–1322.  https://doi.org/10.2307/1130494.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  28. Garner, P. W., Jones, D. C., & Miner, J. L. (1994). Social competence among low-income preschoolers—Emotion socialization practices and social cognitive correlates. Child Development,65(2), 622–637.  https://doi.org/10.2307/1131405.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Gershoff, E. T., Grogan-Kaylor, A., Lansford, J. E., Chang, L., Zelli, A., Deater-Deckard, K., et al. (2010). Parent discipline practices in an international sample: Associations with child behaviors and moderation by perceived normativeness. Child Development,81(2), 487–502.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01409.x.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  30. Gottman, J. M., Katz, L. F., & Hooven, C. (1997). Meta-emotion: How families communicate emotionally. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  31. Harris, P. L., Olthof, T., Terwogt, M. M., & Hardman, C. E. (1987). Children’s knowledge of the situations that provoke emotion. International Journal of Behavioral Development,10(3), 319–343.  https://doi.org/10.1177/016502548701000304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Heine, S. J., Lehman, D. R., Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (1999). Is there a universal need for positive self-regard? Psychological Review,106, 766–794.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.130.4.574.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Helwig, C. C., To, S., Wang, Q., Liu, C., & Yang, S. (2014). Judgments and reasoning about parental discipline involving induction and psychological control in China and Canada. Child Development,85, 1150–1167.  https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12183.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Katz, L. F., Shortt, J. W., Allen, N. B., Davis, B., Hunter, E., Leve, C., et al. (2014). Parental emotion socialization in clinically depressed adolescents: Enhancing and dampening positive affect. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology,42, 205–215.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-013-9784-2.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  35. Kelley, M. L., & Tseng, H. (1992). Cultural differences in child rearing: A comparison of Immigrant Chinese and Caucasian American mothers. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology,23, 444–455.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0022022192234002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kitayama, S., Markus, H. R., & Kurokawa, M. (2000). Culture, emotion, and well-being: Good feelings in Japan and the United States. Cognition and Emotion,14, 93–124.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.91.5.890.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Klimes-Dougan, B., & Zeman, J. (2007). Introduction to the special issue of social development: Emotion socialization in childhood and adolescence. Social Development,16, 203–209.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9507.2007.00380.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Laible, D. (2010). Does it matter if preschool children and mothers discuss positive vs negative events during reminiscing? Links with mother-reported attachment, family emotional climate, and socioemotional development. Social Development,20, 394–411.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9507.2010.00584.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lansford, J. E., Chang, L., Dodge, K. A., Malone, P. S., Oburu, P., Palmérus, K., … Quinn, N. (2005). Physical discipline and children’s adjustment: Cultural normativeness as a moderator. Child development, 76(6), 1234–1246.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2005.00847.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Le, H.-N., Berenbaum, H., & Raghavan, C. (2002). Culture and alexithymia: Mean levels, correlates and the role of parental socialization of emotions. Emotions,2, 341–360.  https://doi.org/10.1037/1528-3542.2.4.341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Leu, J., Mesquita, B., Ellsworth, P. C., Zhang, Z., Yuan, H., Buchtel, E., et al. (2010). Situational differences in dialectical emotions: Boundary conditions in a cultural comparison of North Americans and East Asians. Cognition and Emotion,24, 419–435.  https://doi.org/10.1080/02699930802650911.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lin, C. C., & Fu, V. R. (1990). A comparison of child-rearing practices among Chinese, immigrant Chinese, and Caucasian-American parents. Child Development,61, 429–433.  https://doi.org/10.2307/1131104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Liu, C. H., Yang, Y., Fang, S., Snidman, N., & Tronick, E. (2013). Maternal regulating behaviors through face-to-face play in first-and second-generation Chinese American and European American mothers of infants. Research in Human Development,10(4), 289–307.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15427609.2013.846042.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lunkenheimer, E. S., Shields, A., & Cortina, K. S. (2007). Parental emotion coaching and dismissing in family interaction. Social Development,16, 232–248.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9507.2007.00382.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (1991). Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and motivation. Psychological Review,98(2), 224–253.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.98.2.224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (1994). A collective fear of the collective: Implications for selves and theories of selves. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,20, 568–579.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167294205013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Matsumoto, D., Yoo, S. H., & Nakagawa, S. (2008). Culture, emotion regulation, and adjustment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,94(6), 925–937.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.94.6.925.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. McCord, B., & Raval, V. (2016). Asian Indian immigrant and white American maternal emotion socialization and child socio-emotional functioning. Journal of Child and Family Studies,25(2), 466–474.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-015-0227-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Mesquita, B., & Karasawa, M. (2002). Different emotional lives. Cognition and Emotion,16, 127–141.  https://doi.org/10.1080/0269993014000176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Miyamoto, Y., & Ma, X. (2011). Dampening or savoring positive emotions: A dialectical cultural script guides emotion regulation. Emotion,11, 1346–1357.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0025135.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Moran, K. M., Root, A. E., Vizy, B. K., Wilson, T. K., & Gentzler, A. L. (2018). Maternal socialization of children’s positive affect regulation: Associations with children’s savoring, dampening, and depressive symptoms. Social Development.  https://doi.org/10.1111/sode.12338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Morris, A. S., Silk, J. S., Steinberg, L., Myers, S. S., & Robinson, L. R. (2007). The role of family context in the development of emotion regulation. Social Development,16, 361–388.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9507.2007.00389x.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  53. Nelis, S., Bastin, M., Raes, F., & Bijttebier, P. (2018). How do my parents react when I feel happy? Longitudinal associations with adolescent depressive symptoms, anhedonia, and positive affect regulation. Social Development.  https://doi.org/10.1111/sode.12318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Ramsden, S. R., & Hubbard, J. A. (2002). Family expressiveness and parental emotion coaching: The role in children’s emotion regulation and aggression. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology,30, 657–667.  https://doi.org/10.1023/A:102019915881.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Raval, V. V., Luebbe, A. M., & Sathiyaseelan, A. (2018). Parental socialization of positive affect, adolescent positive affect regulation, and adolescent girls’ depression in India. Social Development,100, 100.  https://doi.org/10.1111/sode.12325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Reynolds, C. R., & Kamphaus, R. W. (2004). BASC: Behavior assessment system for children: Manual (2nd ed.). Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service.Google Scholar
  57. Sang, B., Deng, X., & Luan, Z. (2014). Which emotional regulatory strategy makes Chinese adolescents happier? A longitudinal study. International Journal of Psychology,49, 513–518.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ijop.12067.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. Taylor, S. E., & Brown, J. D. (1988). Illusion and well-being: A social psychological perspective on mental health. Psychological Bulletin,103, 193–210.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909/103/2/193.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Thomassin, K., & Suveg, C. (2014). Reciprocal positive affect and well-regulated, adjusted children: A unique contribution of fathers. Parenting,14, 28–46.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15295192.2014.880017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Tsai, J. L., Miao, F., & Seppala, E. (2007). Good feelings in Christianity and Buddhism: Religious differences in ideal affect. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,33, 409–421.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167206296107.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Uchida, Y., & Kitayama, S. (2009). Happiness and unhappiness in East and West: Themes and variations. Emotion,9, 4410456.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0015634.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Uchida, Y., Norasakkunkit, V., & Kitayama, S. (2004). Cultural constructions of happiness: Theory and empirical evidence. Journal of Happiness Studies,5, 233–239.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-004-8785-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Wachs, T. D. (1991). Synthesis: Promising research designs, measures, and strategies. In T. D. Wachs & R. Plomin (Eds.), Conceptualization and measurement of organism–environment interaction (pp. 162–182). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Wang, Q. (2006). Developing emotion knowledge in cultural contexts. International Journal of Behavioral Development,30(Suppl. 1), 8–12.Google Scholar
  65. Wang, Q. (2008). Emotion knowledge and autobiographical memory across the preschool years: A cross-cultural longitudinal investigation. Cognition,108, 117–135.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2008.02.002.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. Wang, Q. (2013). The autobiographical self in time and culture. New York: Oxford University Press.  https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199737833.001.0001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Wang, Q., Hutt, R., Kulkofsky, S., McDermott, M., & Wei, R. (2006). Emotion situation knowledge and autobiographical memory in Chinese, immigrant Chinese, and European American 3-year-olds. Journal of Cognition and Development,7(1), 95–118.  https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327647jcd0701_5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Wu, P., Robinson, C. C., Yang, C., Hart, C. H., Olsen, S. F., Porter, C. L., et al. (2002). Similarities and differences in mothers’ parenting of preschoolers in China and the United States. International Journal of Behavioral Development,26, 481–491.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01650250143000436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Yang, Y., & Wang, Q. (2016). The relation of emotion knowledge to coping in European American and Chinese immigrant children. Journal of Child and Family Studies,25, 452–463.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-015-0224-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Yang, Y., & Wang, Q. (2019). Culture in emotional development. In V. LoBue, K. Perez-Edgar, & K. Buss (Eds.), The handbook of emotional development. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  71. Yap, M. B. H., Allen, N. B., & Ladouceur, C. D. (2008). Maternal socialization of positive affect: The impact of invalidation on adolescent emotion regulation and depressive symptomatology. Child Development,79, 1415–1431.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2008.01196.x.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  72. Yi, C. Y., Gentzler, A. L., Ramsey, M. A., & Root, A. E. (2016). Linking maternal socialization of positive emotions to children’s behavioral problems: The moderating role of self-control. Journal of Child and Family Studies,25, 1550–1558.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-015-0329-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Zeman, J., & Garber, J. (1996). Display rules for anger, sadness, and pain: It depends on who is watching. Child Development,67, 957–973.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.1996.tb01776.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  74. Zeman, J., Shipman, K., & Suveg, C. (2002). Anger and sadness regulation: Predictions to internalizing and externalizing symptoms in children. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology,31, 393–398.  https://doi.org/10.1207/S15374424JCCP3103_11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qingfang Song
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yang Yang
    • 2
  • Stacey N. Doan
    • 3
  • Qi Wang
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Applied Human SciencesWestern Kentucky UniversityBowling GreenUSA
  2. 2.National Institute of EducationSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Claremont McKenna CollegeClaremontUSA
  4. 4.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA

Personalised recommendations