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Volume 28 Issue 2 (May 2019), Pages 253-498

Maternal socialization of children’s positive affect regulation: Associations with children’s savoring, dampening, and depressive symptoms (pages 306-322)

Abstract Maternal socialization of positive affect (PA) is linked to children's regulation of positive and negative emotions and the development of psychopathology. However, few studies have examined multiple types of emotion socialization as related to children's PA regulation and depressive symptoms. The current study examined how mothers’ socialization of children's PA regulation was related to children's PA regulation, and if children's PA regulation mediated the association between maternal socialization and children's depressive symptoms. Ninety‐six mother–child dyads (children aged 7–12) completed questionnaires and a five‐minute discussion about a positive event the child previously experienced; 76 dyads completed surveys again five months later. Partial correlations, controlling for child age and gender, indicated associations between maternal PA socialization and child PA regulation. Moderated mediation models suggested that maternal modeling of savoring predicted Time 2 child depressive symptoms via children's own savoring, which was moderated by Time 1 depressive symptoms. The moderated path indicated that only for children who reported higher depressive symptoms at Time 1, higher levels of savoring predicted lower depressive symptoms at Time 2. These results underscore the importance of examining multiple types of PA socialization and child PA regulation to predict children's depressive symptoms longitudinally.

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