Parental Socialization of Emotion in Japan: Contribution to Preschoolers’ Emotion Knowledge




Watanabe, Naomi

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A large body of literature shows that emotional knowledge has numerous benefits for preschoolers’ social-emotional functioning. As a key influential factor, parental socialization of emotion has been receiving increased attention in last decades. However, much research has been conducted in Western cultures; many researchers call for the need of further research in various cultures, especially non-Western cultures. The purpose of the present study was to investigate parental emotion teaching practice in parent-child interactions and the relation between parental emotion teaching and preschoolers’ emotion knowledge in Japan. Fifty-one 3- and 4-year-old Japanese preschoolers’ emotion knowledge was assessed and mother-child interactions in book reading and reminiscence of emotional experience were videotaped in a semi-structured laboratory setting. Maternal utterances were transcribed and maternal use of emotion words and emotion teaching techniques were coded. The results showed that maternal emotion teaching techniques, specifically questioning, clarifying, and reference to child’s feelings, predicted preschoolers’ emotion knowledge. Also, moderation effects of preschoolers’ age and gender on the relation were found. Implications of findings in relation to cultural context are discussed.



Psychology, Culture, Emotion knowledge, Emotion teaching, Japanese, Parental socialization, Preschooler