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Reciprocal Negative Affect in Parent-Child Interactions and Children's Peer Competency

James L. Carson and Ross D. Parke
Child Development
Vol. 67, No. 5 (Oct., 1996), pp. 2217-2226
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1131619
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1131619
Page Count: 10
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Reciprocal Negative Affect in Parent-Child Interactions and Children's Peer Competency
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Abstract

The relationship between preschool children's peer competency and the exchange of reciprocal negative affect displays during physical play with parents was examined. Teacher ratings of children's peer competency were obtained from children's preschools. Parents and children (41 families) were observed during a physical play paradigm called "the hand game" which permitted physically stimulating play, yet which also permitted clear recording of participants' facial expressions. Interactions were coded second by second for 8 min using a system of 12 mutually exclusive and exhaustive codes to categorize the affect displayed by participants. Fathers who typically responded to their children's negative affect displays with negative affect of their own had children who shared less, were more aggressive, and avoided others. Implications of the findings for theories of family-peer relationships are discussed.

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