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Psicologia Clínica

Print version ISSN 0103-5665On-line version ISSN 1980-5438


SOUZA, Ana Beatriz de Mota e  and  MENDES, Deise Maria Leal Fernandes. Emotional understanding in children and maternal beliefs about emotional competence. Psicol. clin. [online]. 2018, vol.30, n.3, pp. 541-559. ISSN 0103-5665.

In many cultural niches, parents are especially concerned with the cognitive skills of their children and it is relevant to sensitize them to the importance of emotional competence in development. Parental beliefs and goals related to the role of emotions in the lives of children forge the processes of socialization of emotion. This study examined emotional understanding in children and their relation to maternal beliefs about emotional competence. Twenty-five children and their mothers took part in this study. An interview was conducted with the mothers and two tasks were applied to the children. The children performed better on the tasks of recognizing facial expressions of emotions. In the interviews, the category of capacities related to social interaction was the one most often evoked (23%) as desired abilities to be acquired by the children, followed by the capacities of emotional competence (21%). Autonomy also emerged as a desired capacity (17%), revealing that mothers also value aspects more focused on autonomy. It is expected that this study will contribute to broaden the discussion about parental beliefs and the importance of emotions for child development.

Keywords : emotional competence; parental beliefs; emotion.

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