Influence of gender on parental socialization of children's sadness regulation

Michael Cassano, Carisa Perry-Parrish, Janice Zeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


Mothers' (N = 60) and fathers' (N = 53) perceptions of and desire for change in their 6- to 11-year-old daughters' (N = 59) and sons' (N = 54) sadness regulation behaviors (i.e., inhibition, dysregulation, coping) were examined in addition to parental responses to children's hypothetical sadness displays. Results of multivariate analyses of variance and regression analyses suggest that parental perceptions of and desired change in children's sadness behavior differ as a function of parent gender, child gender and child age (younger (grades 1, 2), older (grades 4, 5)), and predict the likelihood of contingent responses to children's sadness behavior. Overall, fathers reported being likely to respond to sadness with minimization whereas mothers reported being likely to respond with expressive encouragement and problem-focused strategies. These parent-reported socialization response tendencies, however, were more fully explained by the interaction between perceptions of children's sadness regulation behaviors and satisfaction with these behaviors. These findings highlight the need to include parent gender and parental cognitions as important variables in emotion socialization research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-231
Number of pages22
JournalSocial Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Parent gender
  • Sadness regulation
  • Socialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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