Construct validity of a measure of emotional reminiscing with low-income Black families from the United States
Emotional development, or the process through which children begin to understand their own and others’ emotions, is fundamental to the formation of positive self-concept, effective emotion regulation abilities, and healthy relationships. Both psychological constructionist theorists and attachment theorists posit that emotional reminiscing, or conversations about past emotions, with parents is an important process that facilitates the development of children’s emotion knowledge and understanding. These interactions are particularly impactful during the preschool years when children’s cognitive, linguistic, and self-regulatory skills are significantly developing. Importantly, while emotional reminiscing with preschoolers occurs cross-culturally, these interactions are socioculturally embedded and unique to different racial and ethnic groups based on both cultural and systemic factors. However, research has generally not addressed the cultural validity of measures of emotional reminiscing in ways that attend to the integrated contributions of both psychological constructionist and attachment theories of emotional development. Accordingly, the current study seeks to evaluate the construct validity of the Autobiographical Emotional Events Dialogue (AEED), a quantitative measurement of maternal sensitive guidance and emotionally matched dialogue during emotional reminiscing, for low-income Black mother-child dyads in the United States. Validation of this measurement would bolster researchers’ abilities to study this important dyadic process and expand research on positive youth development and parenting in low-income Black American families.