Research suggests that both emotion-laden discourse and positive affect facilitate the construction of emotional and relational understanding. Despite this, research has not typically examined simultaneously the connections among affect, emotional discourse, and socioemotional development. In this study, 51 preschool children (M age = 52.80 months) and their mothers took part in two discourse tasks (a reminiscing task and a storybook reading), and both tasks were coded for the emotional content and style of the discourse and for the emotional quality of the interaction between the mother and child. Children also completed measures of emotional understanding and representations of relationships, and mothers completed a maternal report of aggressive behavior. Both the level of shared positivity and the style and content of the discourse between the dyad was related to the child’s level of socioemotional development.
Laible, Deborah and Song, Jeanie
"Constructing Emotional and Relational
Understanding: The Role of Affect
and Mother-Child Discourse,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 52
, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol52/iss1/4