Parental emotion coaching and dismissing in family interaction

Erika S. Lunkenheimer, Ann M. Shields, Kai S. Cortina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

223 Scopus citations


We observed the positive emotion socialization practice of parental emotion coaching (EC) and the negative socialization practice of emotion dismissing (ED) during a family interaction task and examined their effects on children's emotion regulation and behavior problems in middle childhood. Participants were 87 sociodemographically diverse families (children aged 8-11 years; 46 girls). Outcome measures included mother, father and teacher reports of emotion regulation and behavior problems. ED was a risk factor, contributing to poorer emotion regulation and more behavioral problems. EC did not offer direct benefits for children's emotional and behavioral outcomes, but interacted with ED such that it protected children from the detrimental effects of ED. This protective effect was found for parents' coaching of negative but not positive emotions. Findings suggested that in family emotion conversation, EC and ED interact in complex ways as risk and protective dimensions of family process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-248
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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