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03-06-2015 | Original Paper | Uitgave 2/2016

Journal of Child and Family Studies 2/2016

The Relation of Emotion Knowledge to Coping in European American and Chinese Immigrant Children

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 2/2016
Auteurs:
Yang Yang, Qi Wang

Abstract

Emotion knowledge contributes to emotion regulation and coping among adults, but few studies have investigated its role in children’s coping development, especially in a cross-cultural context. We examine relations between children’s emotion knowledge and coping in European American and Chinese immigrant families. One hundred and three 7- to 10-year-old children and their mothers from European American and Chinese cultural background participated in this study. Children's emotion knowledge was assessed using emotion-situation knowledge production task. This task examines their understanding of situational antecedents o discrete emotions. Children’s use of coping strategies was reported by mothers using the Children’s Coping Strategies Checklist. Results showed that Chinese immigrant children had greater emotion knowledge of fear and pride but were reported using less variety of coping strategies than European American children. The relationship between children’s knowledge of self-conscious emotions and their use of distraction coping strategies was moderated by culture, whereby knowledge of self-conscious emotions was negatively associated with the parent-reported distraction strategies only for European American children but not for Chinese immigrant children. The importance of culture in both theory and practice related to emotion knowledge and coping is discussed. Findings in this study suggest that family intervention and children’s emotion training programs may need to consider children’s cultural background.

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