Chinese American Immigrant Mothers' Discussion of Emotion With Children: Relations to Cultural Orientations

Annie Tao, Qing Zhou, Nancy Lau, Howard Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


This study examined the unique relations of American and Chinese cultural orientations to the content and quality of first-generation Chinese American immigrant mothers' emotion discussion with their school-aged children (age = 5 to 9 years). Mother-child dyads (n = 187) were videotaped during a storytelling task, and various aspects of mothers' emotion talk were coded. Mothers self-reported on their cultural orientations in language proficiency and behaviors (i.e., media use and social affiliations). Controlling for socioeconomic status, mother's age, child age, gender, and generation status, as well as the length, elaborateness, and language (English and/or Chinese) of storytelling, mothers' Chinese orientation was uniquely associated with their lower use of emotion questions and explanations and a lower quality of emotion discussion. Although mothers' American orientation was positively correlated with their use of positive emotion words and emotion explanations, it did not uniquely predict emotion discussion after controlling for other predictors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-501
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • cultural orientation
  • emotion discussion
  • mother-child

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology


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