Parental socialization of emotion expression: gender differences and relations to child adjustment

Emotion. 2005 Mar;5(1):80-8. doi: 10.1037/1528-3542.5.1.80.


The present study examined gender differences in children's submissive and disharmonious emotions and parental attention to these emotions. Sixty children and their mothers and fathers participated when children were 4 and 6 years old. Children's emotion expression and parental responses during a game were coded. Girls expressed more submissive emotion than boys. Fathers attended more to girls' submissive emotion than to boys' at preschool age. Fathers attended more to boys' disharmonious emotion than to girls' at early school age. Parental attention at preschool age predicted later submissive expression level. Child disharmonious emotion predicted later externalizing symptoms. Gender differences in these emotions may occur as early as preschool age and may be subject to differential responding, particularly by fathers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Attention
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / psychology
  • Emotions*
  • Father-Child Relations
  • Female
  • Gender Identity*
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Male
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Personality Assessment
  • Social Adjustment*
  • Social Behavior*
  • Socialization*