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Emotion Socialization

Emotion socialization consists of verbal and nonverbal practices that help children learn to understand their own and others’ emotions, rules of emotional expression, and how to regulate or control their emotions appropriately. Emotion socialization agents include teachers, peers, siblings, and the broad culture and media, but theory and research suggest that parents are the most influential socializers of children. This entry describes parental emotion socialization practices and the links between these practices and children’s social–emotional outcomes. In the following sections, the primary focus is on the socialization of negative emotions (e.g., fear, sadness, anger), given that negative emotions are particularly difficult for children to manage, compared with positive emotions. Also included are summaries of what is known about differences in emotion socialization based on child ...

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