Emotional Characteristics of Preschoolers Due to Parameters of Family Interaction
The emotional sphere is one of the most important aspects of the child's development and significant factor in his psychological well-being. Present research aims to identify the relationships between emotional characteristics of preschoolers and parameters of family interaction: emotional interaction, parental styles, family adaptation, and cohesion. The study involved 40 people from Saint-Petersburg: 20 children (10 boys and 10 girls) from 5 to 6 years, Mage = 5 years 4 months and 20 mothers. Methods used were: Test 'Emotional identification' by E.Izotova, Empathy test by T. Gavrilova, Children's fears test by A. Zakharov, M. Panfilova, 'Parent-child emotional interaction questionnaire' by E. Zakharova, 'Analysis of family relationships questionnaire by E. Eidemiller and V. Yustitskis, Family Adaptation and Cohesion Scales (FACES III) by D. X. Olson, J. Portner, I. Lavi. Сorrelation analysis revealed that the higher index of underdevelopment of parental feelings, the lower the child’s ability to identify emotions (p < 0,05), but at the same time, the higher ability to understand emotional states (p < 0,01), as in the case of hypoprotection (p < 0,05). Two last correlations can be explained by compensatory mechanism. This is also confirmed by negative correlations between maternal educational uncertainty and child’s ability to understand emotional states and between indulgence and child’s ability to perceive emotional states (p < 0,05).
The more pronounced the phobia of a child's loss, the higher egocentric nature of child’s empathy (p < 0,05). The child’s fears have the greatest number of relationships with the characteristics of family interaction. The more pronounced mother’s positive feelings in interaction, emotional support, acceptance of himself as a parent, desire for physical contact with child and the more adaptive the family system, the less the total number of child’s fears (p < 0,05). The more the mother's ability to perceive the child's state, positive feelings in interaction, emotional support (p < 0,01), unconditional acceptance of the child, acceptance of himself as a parent and the desire for physical contact (p < 0,05), the less the amount child’s spatial fears. Socially-mediated fears are associated with less pronounced mother's positive feelings in interaction, less emotional support and deficiency of demands, obligations (p < 0,05). Fears of animals and fairy-tale characters positively correlated with the excessive demands, obligations and excessive sanctions (p < 0,05). The more emotional support (p < 0,01), mother's ability to perceive the child's state, positive feelings in interaction, unconditional acceptance of the child, acceptance of himself as a parent (p < 0,05), the less the amount child’s fears of nightmares. This kind of fears is positively correlated with excessive demands, prohibitions (p < 0,05). The more adaptive the family system (p < 0,01), the higher family cohesion, mother's acceptance of himself as a parent and preference to childish traits (p < 0,05), the less fear of death. Thus, the children's fears have the closest relationships with the characteristics of family interaction. The severity of fears, especially spatial, is connected, first of all, with the emotional side of the mother-parent interaction. Fears of animals and fairy-tale characters are associated with some characteristics of the parental styles, connected with the rigor of mothers. Correlations of the emotional identification are contradictory and require further clarification.
Research is supported by RFBR №18-013-00990.