The purpose of the present study was to examine the role of maternal attitude towards children’s emotional expressiveness in Korean preschoolers’ emotional understanding and psychosocial adjustment. Preschoolers (N = 70) participated in an emotional understanding task comprised of identifying cartoon character’s emotional reaction to particular emotion-eliciting situations. Maternal attitude towards children’s emotional expressiveness, as well as teachers’ rating of children’s behavior problems and social competence were measured. Children’s emotional understanding was negatively correlated with teacher-reported behavior problems and positively associated with social competence. In line with recent research on the socialization of emotional expressiveness, controlling maternal attitude towards children’s positive emotional expressiveness was negatively correlated with teacher-reported behavior problems. Conversely, mothers’ accepting attitude towards children’s negative emotional expressiveness was also negatively correlated with behavior problems. Finally, maternal attitude toward children’s positive emotional expressiveness moderated the relationship between emotional understanding ability and behavior problems and social competence. Such findings suggest that maternal attitude, particularly attitude regarding specific type of emotional expressiveness, is one of the key factors that may predict preschooler’s psychosocial outcomes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies