ERIC Number: ED328821
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Children's Knowledge of Display Rules for Emotional Expression and Control.
Doubleday, Catherine; And Others
An important task for children is to acquire their culture's rules for emotional display. Accurate knowledge of display rules prescribing, for example, safe targets for anger or indelicate situations for excitement helps regulate expressive behavior and mediate the impact of emotional expression on the self and others. In this study, children's knowledge of affective display rules was investigated. A sample of 7-, 11-, and 15-year-old children (N=370) and one each of their parents responded to items representing display rules for emotional expression and control. Analyses indicated that display rule knowledge improved with age. There was also a greater perception of adult consensus about control than expression rules among parents and children, and children knew the adult consensus for control rules earlier than for expression rules. Females knew expression rules better than males, but there was no difference in females' and males' knowledge of control rules. Knowledge of expression rules may emerge later than control rules because of the developmental pattern of related social-cognitive abilities and because adults may exert more pressures on children to control than to express emotion. Gender-related findings were consistent with societal expectations about expressive females and suggested males and females are equally encouraged to learn rules for controlling emotional displays. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (98th, Boston, MA, August 10-14, 1990).