ERIC Number: ED429692
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
What's Being Served for Dinner? Maternal Mood, Child Orientation, and Mother-Child Interaction during Family Dinnertime Conversation.
Crosby, Danielle A.
The emotion-goal-regulation model of parenting maintains that the degree to which parents' behavior, cognitions, and emotions are organized by outcomes important to children (child orientation) is an important influence on parent-child interaction. This study examined the impact of negative parental moods on parents' ability and motivation to attend to and address their children's concerns and whether parent-child interaction proceeds more smoothly when parents are child-oriented than when they are not. Participating were 29 intact families from four preschools in Austin, Texas with target children ranging in age from 3 to 6 years. Parents independently completed the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, a mood measure. Audiotapes were made of 15 dinner-time conversations at which both parents and the target child were present; the two dinner times for which mothers reported their most extreme positive and negative moods were selected for transcription and analysis. The transcripts were coded for mothers' child-orientation during conversation turns, verbal conflict, and affective expression. The results indicated that mothers spoke an average of 118 turns per dinner, with no differences between negative and positive mood days. Thirty-seven percent of mothers' turns were coded as actively promoting a particular agenda. Mothers were less oriented toward their children's concerns when experiencing a negative mood than when experiencing a positive mood. The percentage of mothers' turns that were self-oriented was very low, accounted for only 2 percent of mothers' total turns. Children expressed less negativity toward mothers and less conflict following mothers' child-oriented turns than following mothers' turns in general. (KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Albuquerque, NM, April 15-18, 1999).