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versión On-line ISSN 1668-7027


GUAITA, Valeria Laura. Assessment of the children's perception of the emotional communication of their parents from a neuropsychological perspective. Interdisciplinaria [online]. 2010, vol.27, n.1, pp.129-146. ISSN 1668-7027.

The quality of interpersonal relationships, including the interpretation of others' intentions and emotions, plays a fundamental roll in the child's development. Therefore, it is important to understand how the process of acquisition of the emotional competences takes place. This is, the capacity of accomplishing a desired outcome in emotion-eliciting encounters, that are shown in the ability to handle ones owns emotions, which results in improved self-esteem and in adaptative resilience when dealing with stressful circumstances. Given the importance of family relationships in the development of emotions, this is, in the ability to recognize, control and express them, the aim of this work is to present the psychometric studies of the questionnaire (CPCEP) built to assess the perception that 5 years old children have about the emotional communication of their parents, analyzing separately the results for mothers and fathers. A group of children at risk for poverty was compared with a group of children without risk for poverty, making a neuropsychological analysis of the results. The data was collected from a sample of 220 5-years old children: 110 living in poor conditions from the one scholl (La Cava, Buenos Aires), and 110 middle class children, attending to schools from Buenos Aires City, which acted as control group. The questionnaire takes into account the emotions of joy, interest, concern, patience and anger that the child perceives in his / her parents. The child is also asked to answer how is it that he / she realizes that his / her mother and father feels that particular emotion. In the analysis of the results, it was considered through which of the communicational channels the children perceived the emotions; this is, verbal, facial, behavioral or vocal. It was taken into account if the child could not explain how he perceived the emotional state of his / her parent. Analysis of the data from the two forms of the questionnaire included response statistics, checks of internal consistency using Cronbach´s coefficient alpha and an exploratory factor analysis to identify the components within each scale. The study of internal consistency using Cronbach's coefficient alpha shows acceptable levels for both samples. In the study of the validity of the scale, the factorial structure was clear in both versions, allowing to establish theoretical and psychological dimensions, giving the questionnaire construct validity. The results of the factor analysis performed to determine the factor structure of the scale for both forms of the instrument show the existence of two factors, with different configuration for children with and without risk for poverty. This is why they were analyzed separately. The factors found indicate that the questionnaire assesses the perception of a mother and a father with expressive and comprehensive characteristics for children without risk for poverty. For children at risk it assesses the perception of a mother with positive or negative characteristics. For children without risk, the expressive style consists on the items that correspond to the perception of an expressive mother or father. The comprehensive style includes the items that cor- respond to a sympathetic mother or father. For children at risk, the positive style includes the items corresponding to the perception of the positive emotions of the mother or father and the negative style consists on the items related to the perception of the negative emotions of the mother or father. When analyzing the channels through which the children perceive the emotional aspects of their parent's communication, the children without risk for poverty could differentiate them, while the children at risk could not explain how they perceive the emotions of their parents in a higher proportion. This can be related to the attentional processes that intervene in emotional-eliciting encounters that are altered for different reasons in children at risk. In conclusion, the work presented shows thatthe questionnaire generates data with acceptable levels of internal consistency reliability and evidence for its construct validity, allowing to make neuropshychological inferences, which make it useful for the assessment of the way that 5-year old children perceive the emotional communication of their parents.

Palabras clave : Family relationships; Emotional communication; Assessment; Resilience; Risk for poverty; Neuropsychology.

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