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Chinese American Immigrant Parents’ Emotional Expression in the Family: Relations With Parents’ Cultural Orientations and Children’s Emotion-Related Regulation


The present study examined 2 measures of Chinese American immigrant parents' emotional expression in the family context: self-reported emotional expressivity and observed emotional expression during a parent-child interaction task. Path analyses were conducted to examine the concurrent associations between measures of emotional expression and (a) parents' American and Chinese cultural orientations in language proficiency, media use, and social affiliation domains, and (b) parents' and teachers' ratings of children's emotion-related regulation. Results suggested that cultural orientations were primarily associated with parents' self-reported expressivity (rather than observed emotional expression), such that higher American orientations were generally associated with higher expressivity. Although parents' self-reported expressivity was only related to their own reports of children's regulation, parents' observed emotional expression was related to both parents' and teachers' reports of children's regulation. These results suggest that self-reported expressivity and observed emotional expression reflect different constructs and have differential relations to parents' cultural orientations and children's regulation.

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