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Do parents respond in different ways when children feel different emotions? The emotional context of parenting

  • COLLEEN R. O'NEAL (a1) and CAROL MAGAI (a2)


When children experience emotions, do they view their primary caregiver as reacting in a different manner depending on the children's different emotions? Parental socialization of negative emotions and child psychopathology were examined among 161 inner city youth ages 11–14 years. These early adolescents were more likely to perceive their parents as responding in a different manner to different emotions than responding in the same way to different emotions. In addition, we asked if emotion-specific socialization strategies tell us more about child psychopathology than global socialization strategies do. Exploratory analyses suggest that a mixture of both emotion-specific and global socialization strategies may best predict child psychopathology. It remains important to clarify the emotional context of socialization strategies.This research was supported by an NIMH Predoctoral Fellowship, National Research Service Award (F31 MH12322), and an NIMH Postdoctoral Fellowship, Institutional Training Grant (T32 MH19890-07). We thank the principal, parents, and students of Junior High School 275 and the Police Athletic League Brownsville Beacon Community Center for their support and participation in this project. Patrick Shrout gave invaluable feedback in the development of this paper. Colleen R. O'Neal is now at the NYU Child Study Center, NYU School of Medicine.


Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Colleen R. O'Neal, PhD, Institute for Prevention Science, NYU Child Study Center, NYU School of Medicine, 215 Lexington Avenue, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10016; E-mail:


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Do parents respond in different ways when children feel different emotions? The emotional context of parenting

  • COLLEEN R. O'NEAL (a1) and CAROL MAGAI (a2)


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