Mother- and father-reported reactions to children's negative emotions: Relations to young children's emotional understanding and friendship quality

Nancy L. McElwain, Amy G. Halberstadt, Brenda L. Volling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1407-1425
Number of pages19
JournalChild development
Volume78
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Mother- and father-reported reactions to children's negative emotions: Relations to young children's emotional understanding and friendship quality'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this