Date of Award

2001

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Martini, Tanya,

Keywords

Psychology, Developmental.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Children's ability to regulate their emotions is considered to be a major developmental task (Cole, Michel, and O'Donnell-Teti, 1994). However, very few studies have examined emotion regulation in cultures other than North America. This study investigated East Indian children's use and understanding of display rules in regulating anger, sadness, and physical pain. The relation between mothers' reactions to their children's expressions and children's regulatory decisions was also examined. Eighty-nine children between the ages of 5 and 9 years and their mothers were interviewed. Dyads were recruited from two middle-class Gujarati speaking communities located in the city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Results revealed that all children reported expressing anger and sadness less than physical pain, regardless of who was present. All children reported expressing sadness and pain more in the presence of their mother than their father. Girls were less likely to report expressing anger than boys, however, no gender difference was found in the expression of sadness or pain. Older children reported controlling all feelings more than younger children, and more frequently cited norm maintenance for controlling their feelings, whereas younger children were more likely to refer to avoidance of scolding. Children from the old city community reported controlling all feelings more than children from the suburban community. Mothers' nonsupportive responses to their children's expressions of anger, sadness, and pain were negatively related to children's decisions to express that particular feeling. However, mothers' supportive responses were, for the most part, unrelated to children's regulatory decisions. Results are discussed in terms of similarities in aspects of emotional development across cultures, and the meaning of emotional displays in each culture. Implications for the study of atypical development are also discussed.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2001 .R38. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 40-06, page: 1625. Adviser: Tanya Martini. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2001.

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