Sharing in the Family System: Contributions of Parental Emotional Expressiveness and Children’s Physiological Regulation

Leigha A. MacNeill, Elizabeth A. Shewark, Koraly Pérez-Edgar, Alysia Y. Blandon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

SYNOPSIS: Objective. The current study examines whether associations between mothers’ and fathers’ emotional expressiveness and children’s observed sharing behavior differ for two young children in the same family and whether children’s baseline respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) moderates relations between emotional expressiveness and sharing. Design. Altogether 69 families, including mothers, fathers, older siblings (Mage = 57.52 months), and younger siblings (Mage = 32.68 months) participated. Multilevel Poisson models were used to account for nesting of children within families and the count outcome of sharing. Results. Mothers who reported expressing more positive emotion had children who shared more, and this effect was moderated by child baseline RSA such that mothers who reported expressing more positive emotions had children who shared more when children had lower levels of baseline RSA. This finding was not significant for children with higher levels of baseline RSA or for fathers. Conclusions. Variations in the family’s emotional climate across individual members may be crucial to foster sharing behavior for children with lower levels of physiological regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-356
Number of pages25
JournalParenting
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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