The Role of Maternal Emotional Validation and Invalidation on Children’s Emotional Awareness

Lambie, John A. and Lindberg, Anja (2016) The Role of Maternal Emotional Validation and Invalidation on Children’s Emotional Awareness. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 62 (2). pp. 129-157. ISSN 0272-930X

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Emotional awareness—that is, accurate emotional self-report—has been linked to positive well-being and mental health. However, it is still unclear how emotional awareness is socialized in young children. This observational study examined how a particular parenting communicative style—emotional validation versus emotional invalidation—was linked to children’s (age 4–7 years) emotional awareness. Emotional validation was defined as accurately and nonjudgmentally referring to the emotion or the emotional perspective of the child. The relationship between maternal emotional validation/invalidation and children’s awareness of their negative emotions was examined in 65 mother–child pairs while playing a game. In a multiple regression, significant predictors of children’s emotional awareness were their mother’s degree of emotional validation, the child’s gender (girls more aware than boys), and their mother’s degree of invalidation (negative predictor). These results suggest that children’s accurate attention to their own emotion states—that is, their emotional awareness—may be shaped by their mother’s use of emotional validation/invalidation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-copy edited version of an article accepted for publication in Merrill-Palmer Quarterly 2016 62(2) following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available from Wayne State University Press.
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2016 13:05
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 19:00

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