Socialization Of The Extended Self In Cultural Contexts And Relations To Children'S Socio-Emotional Outcomes
Koh, Bee Kim
This dissertation examined the socialization of the extended self in cultural contexts and the relations to children's socio-emotional outcomes. Three studies involving European-American, Chinese immigrant and Chinese preschool children and their parents were conducted. Study 1 investigated memory-sharing in a natural context, i.e., during dinnertime in European-American and Chinese immigrant families. Chinese immigrant families engaged in lengthier dinner conversations than did European-American families. During memory-sharing, Chinese immigrant parents focused not only on children's social relations, daily interactions with others, up-played their transgressions, and emphasized proper conducts, but also their personal thoughts and feelings. Conversely, European-American parents highlighted children's actions, downplayed their transgressions, and focused on their personal thoughts and feelings. Study 2 examined mother-child talk about future following memory-sharing, which connects the self from the past to the future. Chinese immigrant and Chinese mothers were more likely to talk about the future following memory-sharing than European-American mothers. Following past negative events, Chinese immigrant and Chinese mothers and children tended to engage in didactic talk that emphasized children's proper conduct in future, whereas European-American mothers and children tended to engage in autonomous talk that focused on children's opinions and preferences regarding the future. Study 3 studied mother-child reminiscing of emotionally negative events and the long-term relations to children's socio-emotional outcomes. Both European-American and Chinese immigrant mothers and children who focused on the child's emotional states, explained the causes for the child's emotions and provided ways to resolve the negative emotions had children who showed better socio-emotional outcomes across time. Nonetheless, Chinese immigrant mothers and children who engaged in didactic talk had children who showed better emotional outcomes across time, but European-American mothers and children who engaged in didactic talk had children who showed worse emotional outcomes across time. The collective findings suggest that parents of different cultures socialize their children to develop an extended self and cope with emotionally negative experiences in ways that are congruent with the respective cultural value systems, which are associated with positive socio-emotional outcomes in children. Situated in the broader comparative context, this dissertation extended current understanding on cultural diversity in human cognition and psychological health.
Extended Self; Culture; Socio-Emotional Outcomes
Ceci, Stephen John; Hazan, Cynthia
Ph. D., Developmental Psychology
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis