Caregiver Emotion Socialization and Adolescent Meaning Making about a Devastating Tornado
Hendrickson, Michelle Lynn
University of Kansas
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The first aim of the current study was to explore if emotion socialization (ES) constructs, (egocentrism, structure, reward, match/magnify, override, punish, acknowledge, argue, and direct to interviewer) could be identified in and reliably measured during a task in which adolescents who were at-risk for aggression at a young age and their female caregivers discussed a shared tornado experience. The second aim of the study was to investigate the degree to which caregiver ES behaviors during conversations were associated with variables thought to represent how adolescents were reflecting on, processing emotion and cognitions related to, and making meaning out of events (elaborativeness, coherence, internal states language, and meaning). Two hundred and twelve adolescents (ages 12 to 17, 66% male, 77% African American) and their female caregivers who experienced an EF4 tornado provided joint recollections and adolescents provided independent interviews in 2014 (38 to 42 months post-tornado) and 2015 (50 to 54 months post-tornado). Verbatim caregiver-adolescent transcripts were coded for indicators of ES and adolescent individual interviews were coded for recollection qualities. Several ES constructs were found to be present and vary in caregiver-adolescent conversations, could be reliably coded, and were related to adolescent individual recollection qualities. Results indicate that caregivers use certain ES behaviors during caregiver-adolescent conversations about a tornado (which can be reliably measured in a low-income population of at-risk youth) and that these ES behaviors may be relevant to how adolescents recollect, process, and made meaning out of natural disaster experiences, above and beyond the level of distress and exposure experienced during the event. Implications for the future study of ES processes during caregiver-child co-recollections are discussed.
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- Psychology Dissertations and Theses 
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