Charalene Kiser ACF Abstract FY11

"Emotion socialization Practices of Caucasian and Hispanic Mothers"

83rd Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association

Evidence of cross-cultural differences in emotion socialization suggests that cultural norms influence parenting strategies. This study compares Caucasian and Latino-American mothers of 2-year-old children to evaluate variations in emotion socialization strategies as a function of ethnicity.

American culture values individualism, and parenting strategies are often problem-focused responses directed towards the cause of the childs distress (Fabes et al., 2002), which fit the model of individualistic emotion competence. In contrast, the importance of interpersonal relationships in Latino cultures (Romero, Cuéllar, & Roberts, 2000) predicts that Latino-American mothers would be more likely to discuss emotional expressions with their children in order to facilitate relational emotional competence, i.e., adapting the emotional responses to the context.

N = 60 mothers of 2-year-old children living in West Michigan were interviewed for this study as a part of a broader research project. The CCNES (Fabes et al., 2002) was adapted into an interview and the vignettes were modified to include a wider range of emotions and adjusted to accommodate younger children. Responses were coded by three independent raters, and statistical analyses include loglinear modeling and MANOVAs.

Preliminary results demonstrate differences in emotion socialization strategies between Caucasian- and Latino-American mothers.