Impact of Culture on Taiwanese Children’s Social Development and Emotion Regulation
Authors:Cindy Feng, Angela Lee, Wan-Hsuan Minnie Lin
Mentor:Shu-Chen Jenny Yen, Associate Professor , California State University Fullerton
Young children’s social development and emotion regulation have received broad research attention in the West most recently; however, little is known regarding social development and emotion regulation in children from different cultures. The study of social and emotional growth encompassed three components: experience of emotions, expression and communication of emotions, and understanding of how emotion-related behaviors and social interactions were interrelated. Although children experienced a wide range of emotions and developed different ways to express and communicate their emotions, the impact of culture could determine how these communication skills were learned and manifested. This study aimed to focus on Chinese children because Chinese parents tended to emphasize strongly in Chinese values such as human malleability, persistence, restraint of emotion, and parental authority; as a result, they might neglect young children’s social development and emotion regulation. The purpose of this study was to investigate on how culture impacts Taiwanese children’s social development and emotion regulation. This study examined 75 preschool aged children (ages three to five years old) in Taitung city, Taiwan. Children’s beliefs regarding social acceptability and their preferred method of expression of emotions were examined. The preliminary results revealed that more than 67% of the Taiwanese children reported their parents to be less accepting their expression of anger, while more than 52% reported that their parents to be less accepting their expression of sadness and fear. More than 35% of the children preferred using either verbal communication or facial expression to convey their emotion to their parents or adults. Most of the children looked toward to either their parents or teachers to obtain approval for the appropriateness of their emotion regulation.