This study investigated whether parent meta-emotion philosophies, specifically parents' level of emotion coaching, differed between parents of typically developing (TD) children and parents of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study also investigated whether emotion coaching was related to children's accuracy for recognizing facial affect. Participants in the study included 72 families, who were of middle to high socioeconomic status, with a child between the ages of three and six years. The ASD group included 24 children (5 females, 19 males) and had a mean age of 54.73 months (SD = 10.43). The TD group included 48 children (20 females, 28 males) and had a mean age of 65.92 months (SD = 11.84). Parents participated in interviews and completed questionnaires regarding family demographics, their child's behaviors, and their meta-emotion philosophy. Children completed assessments measuring verbal ability and facial affect recognition accuracy. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis was conducted to test the moderation model. The study found that children with ASD had a significant deficit in facial affect recognition compared to TD children, F(1,69) = 13.56, p < .001, R2</super> change = .15. Further analysis determined that there was not a significant difference between groups in recognizing the emotions of happy, sad, or scared. However, there was a significant difference in facial affect recognition of the emotion anger, [special characters omitted](4) = 9.999, p = .04. Twenty-three percent of the TD group correctly identified all of the angry faces, whereas none of the ASD group could do this. The study did not find a relation between emotion coaching levels and facial affect recognition, F(1,69) = .360, p = .55. No support was found for the hypothesis that child developmental status would predict parent's level of emotion coaching. However, qualitative analysis found that fifty-four percent of parent participants identified their child's general level of sensitivity and emotionality as a primary influence on their meta-emotion philosophy. Four percent of these parents referenced their child's developmental status as an influence. The proposed moderation model was also not supported. Parent meta-emotion philosophy did not affect the relation between developmental status and facial affect recognition.
|Advisor:||Wilson, Beverly J.|
|Commitee:||Kline, Frank, Thoburn, John|
|School:||Seattle Pacific University|
|School Location:||United States -- Washington|
|Source:||DAI-B 74/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Developmental psychology, Psychology, Clinical psychology|
|Keywords:||Autism spectrum disorder, Emotion coaching, Facial affect recognition, Meta-emotion|
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