Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Emotions, Reminiscing


Julie Hakim-Larson




This study examined relations between maternal emotion-related beliefs and behaviours, child characteristics, and narrative quality within 47 mother-child reminiscing conversations about past shared child emotional experiences during the middle childhood years of six to eight. Narratives from mother-child conversations about child anger, sadness, happiness, hope, and love were coded and analyzed. Mothers completed measures of maternal emotional expressivity in the family, maternal meta-emotion style, maternal restrictiveness towards child general expressivity, maternal reactions to child negative expressivity, and the child temperament factor of negative affectivity. Mothers and children also rated descriptive narrative characteristics. Finally, children's language abilities were measured. When child negative affectivity and receptive language were controlled as covariates, mothers endorsing higher parental distress about child negative emotions were significantly more likely to have children who produced fewer negative emotion words during happiness reminiscing. Conversely, when child gender and receptive language were controlled as covariates, mothers endorsing less restrictive attitudes toward general child emotional expression were significantly more likely to have children who produced more emotion words during happiness reminiscing. Interestingly, following the control of child gender and expressive language as covariates, mothers reporting higher levels of personal positive expressivity produced significantly fewer emotion words during sadness reminiscing. However, when child negative affectivity and language ability (i.e., receptive or expressive) were controlled as covariates, higher maternal negative expressivity was significantly associated with fewer maternal emotion words across all narratives except happiness. Finally, when child gender and expressive language ability were controlled as covariates, a significant positive association was found between maternal emotion coaching style and families' conversation lengths about happiness and the frequency of maternal elaborations about hope. Both child gender and narrative type were related to family narrative output. Analysis of hope and love narratives revealed themes about the nature of hope events, maternal hope supporting strategies, and emotional ambivalence and affectionate demonstrations during love reminiscence. This study makes a needed contribution as currently no published studies exist examining maternal emotion socialization beliefs in relation to parent-child reminiscing about negative and positive child emotions during the middle childhood years.