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Journal Article

Citation

Arriaga P, Murteira C, Oliveira R. Span. J. Psychol. 2019; 22: E15.

Affiliation

ISCTE - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (Portugal).

Copyright

(Copyright © 2019, Complutense University of Madrid, Publisher Cambridge University Press)

DOI

10.1017/sjp.2019.21

PMID

30981284

Abstract

This study investigated how adults respond to a moral transgression committed by a child offender, by examining the role of the child's sex, emotions, and crying behavior when caught committing a moral transgression on adults' forgiveness, trust, and disciplinary behaviors. An experimental survey manipulated the children's sex, crying, and their emotional expressions (fear, sadness, shame, and crying). Participants (N = 847) reported how they would feel, their willingness to forgive (immediately and a week after the event) and to trust the child, estimated recidivism, and the use of disciplinary behaviors.

RESULTS showed that participants in the crying conditions reported significantly higher levels of intention to trust and forgive the child a week after the event, and a lower estimation of the child committing a similar act in the future than participants in the non-crying conditions (ps <.05). Compared to men, women anticipated higher intentions to forgive (ps <.05), and more inductive behaviors, less overreactivity and warmth removal towards the child (ps <.001). Overall, the results suggest the functional value of crying in children-adults relations and the importance of the gender of both child and adults in a context of a moral transgression committed by a child.


Language: en

Keywords

children; crying; emotions; forgiveness; gender

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