All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Sylvie Mrug

Advisory Committee Members

Fred J Biasini

Shawn Bauldry

David C Knight

Susan L Davies

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2016

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

Parental emotion socialization has been associated with youth emotional development. However, less is known about the influences of emotion socialization on emotional functioning in late adolescence and emerging adulthood. The first manuscript examined the factor structure of The Emotions as a Child Scale (EAC) in late adolescence and emerging adulthood and evaluates its measurement invariance across gender and ethnicity. The results showed that parental responses to children’s negative emotions could be categorized into supportive and unsupportive responses and the EAC demonstrated stronger measurement invariance across gender than ethnic groups. The second manuscript examined coping strategies as mediators of the relationship between parental emotion socialization and emotional functioning. It revealed that coping styles mediated associations between parental responses and youth internalizing and externalizing problems, with important differences across gender and ethnicity. The third manuscript investigated the role of parental emotion socialization in psychological and physiological reactivity to a standardized social stress task (the Trier Social Stress Test; TSST). Unsupportive parental responses to children’s negative emotions were associated with blunted cortisol reactivity and greater negative emotions to a psychosocial stressor in females and African American youth, whereas supportive parental responses predicted more adaptive responses to stress in males and European American youth. Overall,findings highlight the need to consider emotion socialization practices and goals from a gender- and culture-specific perspective.

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