Emotion socialization as a dynamic process across emotion contexts

Jessica P. Lougheed, Miriam Brinberg, Nilam Ram, Tom Hollenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Emotion-related socialization behaviors that occur during parent-child interactions are dynamic. According to Eisenberg, Cumberland, and Spinrad's (1998) model, ongoing parental reactions to emotions and discussions of emotion indirectly shape children's socioemotional competence throughout childhood and adolescence. Typically developing adolescents-girls especially-are at increased risk for developing internalizing symptoms. We examined if and how emotion dynamics of mother-daughter interactions contribute to adolescent girls' internalizing symptoms. We applied grid-sequence analysis (Brinberg, Fosco, & Ram, 2017) to observational data obtained while N = 96 typically developing adolescent girls (Mage = 13.99 years) and their mothers engaged in 5 different emotionally-laden discussions. We identified patterns of expressed emotions that unfolded during each discussion and examined how interdyad differences in those patterns were associated with mothers' and daughters' internalizing symptoms. Dyads differed with respect to whether mothers or daughters tended to regulate positive emotion expressions. Interdyad differences in moment-to-moment dynamics of happy/excited and worried/sad discussions were associated with adolescent girls' social anxiety symptoms, although differences in emotion dynamics of proud, frustrated/annoyed, and grateful discussions were not. Taken together, results illustrate how methodological innovations are enabling new examination and detailed description of parent-child emotion socialization dynamics. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-565
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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