Parent–child conversations about shared events may facilitate important aspects of psychosocial development through the family's references to emotions. Although past research has begun examining features of speakers and topics that predict emotion talk in these conversations, the potential contribution of personality traits has been overlooked. The current study investigated whether parental personality and participant gender were related to emotion talk during conversations between parents and their 5-year-old children. Results revealed discussion differences as a function of gender and discussion topic. Moreover, higher levels of trait Social Closeness in mothers corresponded to their richer emotional talk during discussions, particularly when conversing with daughters. Children's emotion talk regarding negative events was associated with their mothers' Positive Emotionality. No significant associations emerged for fathers' personality. The findings suggest that personality traits and gender may influence the very words that parents and children use, thus shaping the developmental environment in important ways.


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pp. 388-414
Launched on MUSE
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