Date Thesis Awarded

5-2017

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Janice Zeman

Committee Member

Inga Carboni

Committee Member

Elizabeth Raposa

Abstract

Parents remain influential emotion socialization (ES) agents for their adolescents, with parents’ supportive and unsupportive ES associated with youths’ adaptive and maladaptive social outcomes, respectively (Buckholdt, Kitzmann, & Cohen, 2014). However, less research has examined how adolescents’ ES behaviors towards their close friends may mediate these links. Thus, the current study examines whether maternal ES relates to adolescents’ social outcomes (e.g., overt and relational victimization, bullying, friendship quality, receipt of prosocial behavior) through adolescents’ ES behaviors towards their friends. Participants were 158 middle-school age youth (Mage = 12.67 years; 59.5% girls; 78.5% Caucasian; from mostly upper-middle class families) who participated with their mothers and a same-sex close friend. Maternal ES was measured via mother-report, peer ES was assessed through friend-report of expected ES responses from their friend (the parent’s child), and adolescents’ social experiences was measured through adolescent self-report. Ten mediation models were computed using the Process macro for SPSS (Hayes, 2013). There were significant indirect links between supportive maternal ES and adolescent overt victimization, bullying behaviors, positive friendship quality, and receipt of peers’ prosocial behaviors, such that greater maternal supportive ES behaviors were separately associated with more adaptive social outcomes, through adolescents’ own supportive ES responses. Greater maternal supportive ES behaviors were directly associated with greater friendship quality and fewer bullying behaviors. No significant indirect effects emerged for the potential link between unsupportive maternal ES and adolescents’ social outcomes, through adolescents’ own unsupportive ES behaviors. However, greater maternal unsupportive ES behaviors were related to fewer overt victimization experiences for youths. There were no significant direct or indirect links between supportive or unsupportive ES practices and relational victimization. These results suggest that maternal ES (particularly supportive ES) is associated with adolescents’ own ES, which in turn contributes to youths’ positive social outcomes. Implications and future directions are discussed.

Available for download on Saturday, May 11, 2019

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