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14-11-2016 | Original Paper | Uitgave 3/2017

Journal of Child and Family Studies 3/2017

The Influence of Mothers’ Emotional Expressivity and Class Grouping on Chinese Preschoolers’ Emotional Regulation Strategies

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 3/2017
Auteurs:
Yousong Hu, Yifang Wang, Aizhen Liu

Abstract

Emotional regulation within the context of social situations refers to an individual’s ability to respond to emotions in socially acceptable ways in order to adapt quickly and to maintain good interpersonal relationships. Emotional regulation is a psychological characteristic at the core of social stability. The preschool period is a stage in which children’s emotional regulation develops rapidly. Because homes and preschools are the two main places where preschoolers grow and spend their time, their mothers and peers play key roles in their social interactions. Therefore, the present study explored how the emotional regulation strategies of preschool children in China are affected by children’s class grouping and their mothers’ emotional expressivity. The participants were 182 preschoolers (ages 3–5) who were recruited for this study. The Emotional Regulation Strategy Questionnaire and the Self-Expressiveness in the Family Questionnaire were used to explore preschoolers’ emotional regulation strategies and their mothers’ emotional expressivity, respectively. The study results are as follows. (1) As they develop, preschool children use more positive emotional regulation strategies and fewer negative emotional regulation strategies. (2) Children in mixed-age classes use fewer passive reaction strategies than children in same-age classes do. For replacement activity strategies, only 4-year-old children in mixed-age classes score higher than children in same-age classes. (3) Mothers’ tendencies toward positive emotional expression can positively predict their children’s use of positive emotional regulation strategies, and their displays of negative emotions can positively predict their children’s use of negative emotional regulation strategies.

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