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Moral Socialization in Mother-Child Conversations about Hurting Siblings and Friends


Moral Socialization in Mother-Child Conversations about Hurting Siblings and Friends

Scirocco, Alyssa (2014) Moral Socialization in Mother-Child Conversations about Hurting Siblings and Friends. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

Text (application/pdf)
Scirocco_MA_F2014.pdf - Accepted Version


Parents play an important role in helping their children make sense of their harmful actions towards others (Recchia & Wainryb, 2014). The purpose of this study was to examine the socialization strategies that mothers employ in conversations about children’s experiences of harm, and particularly how these strategies vary in response to children’s distinct experiences of conflict with siblings and friends. Thirty-four mothers and their 7-year-old children discussed two events: one in which they harmed a friend and the other, a younger sibling (order counterbalanced). Conversations were transcribed verbatim and a presence/absence coding system was employed for various moral socialization strategies. Results indicated that mothers employed different strategies to support their children’s moral understandings depending on the relationship context (sibling, friend). Perhaps due to the more terminable nature of children’s friendships, mothers more frequently highlighted repair and consequences for the relationship in these conversations. In contrast, in conversations about siblings, mothers more often negatively evaluated the harmful act and encouraged their child to explore feelings of guilt. Given the uniquely ruthless nature of children’s harm against siblings (Recchia, Wainryb & Pasupathi, 2013), mothers may use these strategies to encourage children’s moral concern for their sibling. Findings suggest that mothers may be responsive to the distinct features that characterize their children’s experiences with their siblings and friends in ways that may serve to highlight and maximize their children’s moral development.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Scirocco, Alyssa
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Child Studies
Date:26 May 2014
Thesis Supervisor(s):Recchia, Holly
ID Code:978705
Deposited On:05 Nov 2014 20:21
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:47
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