Predicting Child Emotion Talk: Maternal Emotion Talk and Positive Emotion

Restricted (Penn State Only)
Vazquez, Lauren C
Graduate Program:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
April 02, 2018
Committee Members:
  • Pamela M. Cole, Thesis Advisor
  • Ginger A. Moore, Committee Member
  • Janet G. Van Hell, Committee Member
  • emotion talk
  • positive emotion
  • mother-child dyads
Although the link between maternal and children emotion talk is well established, it is unknown whether the ways in which mothers communicate emotion terms influence young children’s use of emotion talk. We investigated the role of maternal explanations about emotion and maternal positive emotion with a sample of 36-month-olds (46% female; Mage = 36.44 months, SDage = 0.80) and their mothers (N = 120) during a laboratory-based reading task. Results of logistical regression analyses revealed that maternal emotion talk predicted child emotion talk and maternal explanations about emotion did not predict child emotion talk. There was mixed evidence for the role of positive emotion, with some findings suggesting that maternal positive emotion may directly influence child emotion talk.