Gender comparisons in mother-child emotion talk: A meta-analysis

Ana Aznar, Harriet R. Tenenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Mother-child emotion talk is one of the main ways through which children learn about emotions. Some previous research studies have suggested that mother-child emotion talk is a gendered process, influencing how girls and boys talk about emotions. Despite inconsistent findings in establishing if mothers use different amounts of emotion talk with their daughters and sons, there is no known meta-analysis of the literature examining gender differences in the frequency of mother-child emotion talk. The aim of this comprehensive meta-analysis is to explore gender comparisons in the frequency of mother-child emotion talk as well as the moderators of these differences. Based on 34 independent group samples (samples of unique individuals) consisting of 3,649 participants, no gender differences in the frequency of emotion talk between mothers of daughters and mothers of sons were found. Using a random-effects model, the meta-analysis had a mean weighted effect size of Cohen’s d = .04 (95% CI = [-.05, .13], p = .36). It was not heterogeneous, Qw (33) = 39.36, p = .21. Thus, findings of the present meta-analysis suggest that mother-child emotion talk has not been shown to be gendered, which has implications for children’s socialization of emotions.
LanguageEnglish
Number of pages31
JournalSex Roles: A Journal of Research
Early online date4 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Apr 2019

Keywords

  • mother-child
  • emotion talk
  • gender differences
  • meta-analysis

Cite this

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title = "Gender comparisons in mother-child emotion talk: A meta-analysis",
abstract = "Mother-child emotion talk is one of the main ways through which children learn about emotions. Some previous research studies have suggested that mother-child emotion talk is a gendered process, influencing how girls and boys talk about emotions. Despite inconsistent findings in establishing if mothers use different amounts of emotion talk with their daughters and sons, there is no known meta-analysis of the literature examining gender differences in the frequency of mother-child emotion talk. The aim of this comprehensive meta-analysis is to explore gender comparisons in the frequency of mother-child emotion talk as well as the moderators of these differences. Based on 34 independent group samples (samples of unique individuals) consisting of 3,649 participants, no gender differences in the frequency of emotion talk between mothers of daughters and mothers of sons were found. Using a random-effects model, the meta-analysis had a mean weighted effect size of Cohen’s d = .04 (95{\%} CI = [-.05, .13], p = .36). It was not heterogeneous, Qw (33) = 39.36, p = .21. Thus, findings of the present meta-analysis suggest that mother-child emotion talk has not been shown to be gendered, which has implications for children’s socialization of emotions.",
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Gender comparisons in mother-child emotion talk: A meta-analysis. / Aznar, Ana; Tenenbaum, Harriet R.

04.04.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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