Social Support: Moderating the Effects of Stress and Poverty on Maternal Emotional Affect
Edwards, Allison C.
MetadataShow full item record
Research has shown that maternal expression of emotion can greatly influence a child's own emotional expression, emotional knowledge, and emotional regulation (i.e., a mother that is high in negative emotional expression may have a child who shows high levels of negative emotion and an inability to regulate emotions). The child's emotional behavior may then hamper his or her ability to relate to and interact with peers socially. Unfortunately, poverty has been shown to have a negative impact on mothers, thus putting their children at risk emotionally. Social support, however, can offset the negative effects of poverty. In this study, the effects of poverty and stress on maternal emotional affect were investigated in the presence and absence of a social support system. Participants were low-income mothers of pre-school age children. Mothers were tested on their levels of stress, their expression of positive and negative emotions, and the presence of a social support system. Significant positive correlations were found between a mother's level of stress and her expression of anger. Significant positive correlations were also found between mother's level of stress and her expression of emotion overall. It was also found that mothers who were married or single were significantly less stressed then mothers who were casually dating.