Parents' Beliefs about Emotions and Children's Recognition of Parents' Emotions

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This study investigated parents' emotion-related beliefs, experience, and expression, and children's recognition of their parents' emotions with 40 parent-child dyads. Parents reported beliefs about danger and guidance of children's emotions. While viewing emotion-eliciting film clips, parents self-reported their emotional experience and masking of emotion. Children and observers rated videos of parents watching emotion-eliciting film clips. Fathers reported more masking than mothers and their emotional expressions were more difficult for both observers and children to recognize compared with mothers' emotional expressions. For fathers, but not mothers, showing clearer expressions was related to children's general skill at recognizing emotional expressions. Parents who believe emotions are dangerous reported greater masking of emotional expression. Contrary to hypothesis, when parents strongly believe in guiding their child's emotion socialization, children showed less accurate recognition of their parents' emotions.

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