Date of Award

Summer 8-8-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Erin Tully

Second Advisor

Lisa Armistead

Third Advisor

Laura McKee


Children’s skills for effective communication about their emotional experiences is important for adaptive expression, regulation, and understanding of emotions. Although research supports associations between parental emotion socialization (e.g., emotion coaching) and distal child outcomes, such as social skills, there is scant research on proximal outcomes, such as children’s emotion communication. Additionally, existing research focuses on coaching and communication of negative over positive emotions. In the current study, parents’ coaching and children’s communication of emotions were rated while parent-child dyads (N=115, Mage = 9 years) were observed in the lab discussing past family experiences. Parents coached and children communicated in a more specific and emotion-focused way about negative than positive emotions. The strength of associations between parents’ more effective emotion coaching and children’s more effective emotion communication were similar for positive and negative discussions, therefore, discussions of positive events may still provide a fruitful context for emotion learning.


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