Meta-Emotion, Children’s Emotional Intelligence, and Buffering Children from Marital Conflict

John Gottman

in Emotion, Social Relationships, and Health

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780195145410
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199848201 | DOI:

Series: Series in Affective Science

Meta-Emotion,                         Children’s Emotional Intelligence, and Buffering Children from                         Marital Conflict

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Potential detrimental consequences of marital dissolution on the development of children and suggested safeguards are the motivating ideas of this chapter. With the assumption that children cannot or are not expected to absorb fully and cope positively with complex events and shocks in the family such as termination of the marital bond, then coping mechanisms, proper disclosure, and constant moral guidance should be recognized. Children confronted with such scenarios may have a distorted notion of what constitutes a good relationship and may get involved with drug addiction, alcohol abuse, suicidal tendencies, and other violent acts to show their rebellion. These are said to occur because unsuccessful marriages seem to imply to the children involved that there is low valuation given to the relationship by the couple or even by the family as a whole. Considering the delicateness of the issue, parents must then be responsible with the responses they will have to their own emotions — commonly called as meta-emotions. To elaborate on this concept, the chapter notes the characteristics of emotion-dismissing and emotion-coaching parents.

Keywords: marital dissolution; child development; coping mechanisms; relationships; feelings; meta-emotions; responsibilities

Chapter.  16217 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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