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Children's Expected Interpersonal Consequences of Communicating Their Affective State and Reported Likelihood of Expression

Dayna Fuchs and Mark H. Thelen
Child Development
Vol. 59, No. 5 (Oct., 1988), pp. 1314-1322
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1130494
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1130494
Page Count: 9
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Children's Expected Interpersonal Consequences of Communicating Their Affective State and Reported Likelihood of Expression
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Abstract

This study explored several factors associated with expected outcome of emotional expression and likelihood of expression among children. These variables were posited to be a reflection of children's affective display rules. Differences in outcome expectancies and likelihood of expression were assessed as a function of sex of parent, sex of subject, grade, and type of affect. 125 first-, fourth-, and sixth-grade children (mean ages, 6-9, 9-2, and 11-7, respectively) were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 experimental conditions involving either sad or angry affect inductions. Older boys reported less positive expectancies and lower likelihood of expression than younger boys; and boys had less positive expectancies and lower likelihood of expression for sadness than girls. A high correlation was obtained between outcome expectancy and likelihood of expression; the correlation was higher for sadness than anger, and higher among males than females. These results suggest that socialization practices tend to be directed toward the suppression of sadness among males.

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