pISSN : 1976-1961

Emotion Socialization by Early Childhood Educators: Conceptual Models from Psychology

AUTHOR : Katherine M. Kitzmann, Katianne M. Howard

INFORMATION : page. 23~44 / 2011 Vol.5 No.1


Early childhood educators play an important role in helping children to understand and to express emotions. In this paper we highlight the small number of studies in the U.S. concerning the goals and strategies of early childhood educators with respect to emotion socialization, and provide personal observations of emotion socialization practices in two preschools in Hong Kong (PRC) and Memphis (USA). We then propose a conceptual model that integrates LeVine’s work in cultural anthropology with psychological research on emotion socialization. In this model, adults share a universal goal that children develop emotional competence (i.e., skills for emotion expression, knowledge, and regulation), and this goal is achieved through universal processes (namely, through adults’ responses to emotions, modeling, emotion conversations, and meta-emotion philosophies). However, these universal processes are enacted through practices that are culture-specific. This conceptual model provides a useful heuristic for examining early childhood educators’ emotion socialization practices across cultural contexts.

Keyword :

emotion socialization,emotional competence,early childhood

Components of Emotional Competence

Processes of Emotion Socialization

The Cultural Context of Emotion Socialization

A Mother’s Experience in Hong Kong and Memphis

LeVine’s Model: Commonalities and Specifics

Future Work on Emotion Socialization and Early Childhood Education



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