ScienceDaily (Aug. 2, 2012)
Switching back and forth between different languages happens all the time in multilingual environments, and often in emotional situations. In a new article in the July issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, psychological scientists Stephen Chen and Qing Zhou of the University of California, Berkeley and Morgan Kennedy of Bard College delve deeper into this linguistic phenomenon.
Drawing on research from psychology and linguistics, the researchers seek to better understand how using different languages to discuss and express emotions in a multilingual family might play an important role in children’s emotional development. They propose that the particular language parents choose to use when discussing and expressing emotion can have significant impacts on children’s emotional understanding, experience, and regulation.
"Over the past few years, there’s been a steadily growing interest in the languages multilingual individuals use to express emotions," says Chen. "We were interested in the potential clinical and developmental implications of emotion-related language shifts, particularly within the context of the family."
Existing research from psychological science underscores the fact that language plays a key role in emotion because it allows the speakers to articulate, conceal, or discuss feelings. When parents verbally express their emotions, they contribute to their children’s emotional development by providing them a model of how emotions can be articulated and regulated.
When parents discuss emotion, they help their children to accurately label and consequently understand their own emotions. This explicit instruction can further help children to better regulate their emotions.
Additionally, research from linguistics suggests that when bilingual individuals switch languages, the way they experience emotions changes as well. Bilingual parents may use a specific language to express an emotional concept because they feel that language provides a better cultural context for expressing the emotion. For example, a native Finnish speaker may be more likely to use English to tell her children that she loves them because it is uncommon to explicitly express emotions in Finnish.
Thus, the language that a parent chooses to express a particular concept can help to provide cues that reveal his or her emotional state. Language choice may also influence how children experience emotion, such expressions can potentially elicit a greater emotional response when spoken in the child’s native language. Shifting from one language to another may help children to regulate their emotional response by using a less emotional, non-native language as a way to decrease negative arousal, or to help model culture specific emotional regulation.
Overall, the authors argue that research from psychological science and linguistics suggests that a child’s emotional competence is fundamentally shaped by a multilingual environment. These findings may be particularly useful in the development of intervention programs for immigrant families, helping intervention staff to be aware of how the use of different languages in various contexts can have an emotional impact.
"Our aim in writing this review was to highlight what we see as a rich new area of cross-disciplinary research," says Chen. "We’re especially excited to see how the implications of emotion-related language switching can be explored beyond the parent-child dyad — for example, in marital interactions, or in the context of therapy and other interventions."
- ane-te reblogged this from thisisnotpsychology
- squidwhiskers reblogged this from psych-facts
- squidwhiskers likes this
- thedoctorandclara reblogged this from thisisnotpsychology
- aproductofbliss reblogged this from thisisnotpsychology and added:
- veancie likes this
- youshouldseeherdance reblogged this from thisisnotpsychology
- youshouldseeherdance likes this
- vengeance-justice-fire-and-blood likes this
- uprummage reblogged this from thisisnotpsychology
- causecowsgomooandtheskyisblue likes this
- space-happy reblogged this from thisisnotpsychology
- hthrmrph likes this
- space--happy likes this
- bittercitrus likes this
- no-murci reblogged this from thisisnotpsychology
- no-murci likes this
- rosemiller96 likes this
- dulldalia likes this
- crispy-nippletopia reblogged this from psych-facts
- crispy-nippletopia likes this
- zumaezakirah likes this
- espinosa3 likes this
- hckrgrl666 reblogged this from thisisnotpsychology
- hckrgrl666 likes this
- blessing-of-vivec likes this
- buenairsol reblogged this from thisisnotpsychology
- buenairsol likes this
- semprebrava likes this
- sheisherownprisoner reblogged this from thisisnotpsychology
- thedeekochan likes this
- la-wallahi likes this
- emghabra reblogged this from thisisnotpsychology
- majustg likes this
- nieczynne likes this
- dirtupoffmypsyche likes this
- gavinoranski reblogged this from thisisnotpsychology
- symbolie likes this
- sun-hunter likes this
- joslyncrystal likes this
- waitingforright likes this
- prosetitute likes this
- bowserfucker likes this
- lahciguapa reblogged this from thisisnotpsychology and added:
- svennibal likes this
- lahciguapa likes this
- euxiom likes this
- hellagayshit reblogged this from thisisnotpsychology
- greenbowls-luckycharms reblogged this from psych-facts
- fearofymir reblogged this from thisisnotpsychology