Prof. Kristel Thomassin

Prof. Kristel Thomassin, Department of Psychology, spoke to Fatherly website about her new research that found that mothers may be more gender-biased than fathers when it comes to discouraging their child’s expression of sadness and anger.

In a Q & A format, Thomassin explained what parents can take away from the study, and how to look inward at their own biases.

She said children learn rules from their parents about what they are allowed to experience and express,. She said being taught to suppress those feeling “really prevents children from learning that all emotions are natural things.”

Thomassin’s research focuses on children’s emotional development, in particular, the ways in which the family system contributes to children’s development of (mal)adaptive emotion skills and the role these emotions play in child psychopathology.