Mother- and father-reported reactions to children's negative emotions were examined as correlates of emotional understanding (Study 1, N = 55, 5- to 6-year-olds) and friendship quality (Study 2, N = 49, 3- to 5-year-olds). Mothers' and fathers' supportive reactions together contributed to greater child-friend coordinated play during a sharing task. Further, when one parent reported low support, greater support by the other parent was related to better understanding of emotions and less intense conflict with friends (for boys only). When one parent reported high support, however, greater support by the other parent was associated with less optimal functioning on these outcomes. Results partially support the notion that children benefit when parents differ in their reactions to children's emotions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology