Emotion talk in Chinese American immigrant families and longitudinal links to children's socioemotional competence.Dev Psychol. 2020 Mar; 56(3):475-488.DP
Parent emotion talk (ET), a type of emotion-related socialization practice, is theorized to foster children's emotion-related regulation and socioemotional skills. Yet, there has been limited research linking parent ET to children's effortful control, a top-down regulatory process. Despite the observed cultural differences in ET between Chinese and European American families, few researchers tested whether the socioemotional benefits of ET are generalizable to Chinese American families, an immigrant group with contrasting values in their heritage and host cultures. The present study examined Chinese American parents' ET, its associations with sociocultural factors, and prospective relations to school-age children's effortful control, sympathy, and socially appropriate behaviors. In a two-wave (1.5 years apart) longitudinal study of first- and second-generation Chinese American children (N = 258, age = 6-9 years at Wave 1, 52% from low-income families), the content and quality of parent ET (e.g., the overall quality of emotion talk, frequency of emotion explanations, emotion questions, and number of emotion words) was coded from a video-recorded shared book reading task. Children's effortful control, sympathy, and social behaviors were rated by parents, teachers, and children. Results showed that the Chinese American parents from lower socioeconomic status families, families with lower English proficiency, or more recent immigrants displayed lower ET. Parent ET was prospectively related to children's higher effortful control after controlling for stability, and higher effortful control was concurrently associated with children's higher sympathy and more socially appropriate behaviors. The findings provide empirical support for the socioemotional benefits of ET for school-age children in Chinese American immigrant families. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).