Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Human Communications

First Advisor

Mary Claire Morr Serewic

Keywords

Emotion Regulation, Emotion Socialization, Family Communication Environments, Family Communication Patterns

Abstract

Using the General Theory of Family Communication Patterns (FCPT) and Emotion Regulation Theory (ERT) of Meta-emotion, Parenting, and Child Outcomes, this dissertation sought to investigate adults' emotion socialization in their family of origin through an examination of multiple family schemata. Furthermore, the interactions of parental meta-emotions, family communication patterns, and family communication environments were investigated. Two surveys were used in this study. First, 228 adult-children across two universities in the western United States responded to items retrospectively describing the family communication patterns and family communication environments within their home of origin during their adolescence. Additionally, adult-children described the meta-emotion philosophies of their parents during the adult-child's adolescence. Analysis of the data revealed a positive association between emotion coaching (EC) and conversation orientation, as well as positive associations between emotion dismissing (ED) and both conversation and conformity orientations. In examining meta-emotion philosophies across FCP family types, unique interactions were observed across levels of EC, ED, conversation orientation, and conformity orientation. Notably, conversation and conformity orientations acted as reciprocal suppressor variables of ED within consensual families. Further, ED was undifferentiated across pluralistic, protective, and laissez-faire families. Levels of EC were undifferentiated between consensual and pluralistic families, and levels of EC were also undifferentiated between protective and laissez-faire families. Expressiveness and conflict avoidance were both predictive of EC, while all three family communication environments were predictive of ED. A second survey compared the perspectives of 63 adult-children recalling how they were parented against the perspectives of their primary caregivers recalling how they parented their child during adolescence. Adult-child and caregiver perspectives were undifferentiated in how they recalled levels of ED, however, caregivers recalled higher levels of EC than their adult-children. These results indicate the complexity of family schemata and how they influence family communication. Moreover, explaining levels of ED versus EC may be more complex than describing family expressivity or levels of interaction amongst family members. Lastly, the overall investigation of family schemata offers a unique description of family emotional environments. The implications of the results for FCPT, ERT, and family communication research, limitations, and directions for further research were also discussed.

Provenance

Recieved from ProQuest

Rights holder

Joseph Grant Velasco

File size

159 p.

File format

application/pdf

Language

en

Discipline

Communication

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