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Can Affirmation Training Modify Parents’ Implicit Biases About Gender and Child Emotion Expression?

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Title: Can Affirmation Training Modify Parents’ Implicit Biases About Gender and Child Emotion Expression?
Author: Seddon, Jessica
Department: Department of Psychology
Program: Psychology
Advisor: Thomassin, Kristel
Abstract: The current research examined parents’ implicit biases about gender and emotion expression in boys and girls (ages 8-12) and tested whether affirmation training could modify these biases. In Study 1, parents (N = 1657) were randomized to complete one of four implicit association tests (IATs) focusing on children’s expression of sadness, anger, happiness, and a control IAT, as well as explicit emotion measures. Across IATs, mothers’ held biases in favour of girls’ emotion expression. Fathers’ bias for sadness expression varied by their child’s gender. An adverse relationship between mothers’ implicit anger bias and anger socialization towards sons was identified, which was targeted in Study 2. In Study 2, mothers (N = 294) were randomized to the affirmation or control training condition. They completed emotion questionnaires and the anger IAT at pre-training, post-training, 2-days, and 1-week post-training. The affirmation training task did not affect implicit anger bias, though trends emerged showing a possible, albeit minimal, beneficial impact on anger socialization for mothers of sons.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/16955
Date: 2019-08
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