Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Hakim-Larson, J.


Psychology, Developmental.




The general purpose of this study was to further explore the relationship between family characteristics and emotion decoding ability in young adults. The study had three major aims: first, to determine the normative responses for a novel, emotion decoding task based on the Frog, Where Are You? picture book (Mayer, 1969); second, to examine the roles that family expressiveness and affect intensity play, in isolation and in interaction, in emotion decoding skill; and third, to examine correlates of the intensity ratings assigned to decoded emotions. A total of 180 university students (89 males and 91 females) completed the Family Expressiveness Questionnaire (Halberstadt, 1986), the Affect Intensity Measure (Larsen, 1987), and an emotion decoding task requiring them to label and rate the intensity of the emotions of picture book characters. Norms for the decoded emotions were derived from the specific and general emotion modes reported for each stimulus. Decoding ability was measured in reference to the general emotion modes. Results indicated that low negative family expressiveness was related to the ability to recognize the negative emotions of others. Affect intensity and the interaction between family expressiveness and affect intensity were not found to influence decoding scores. Both affect intensity and negative family expressiveness correlated positively with average assigned intensity rating. Although there are limitations to this study, it provides further evidence of the family's influence on the socialization of emotions. Implications of the findings and directions for future research are also discussed.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2002 .K53. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 41-04, page: 1208. Adviser: Julie Hakim-Larson. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2002.