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ERIC Number: EJ836152
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 61
ISSN: ISSN-0165-0254
Preschool Children's Views on Emotion Regulation: Functional Associations and Implications for Social-Emotional Adjustment
Dennis, Tracy A.; Kelemen, Deborah A.
International Journal of Behavioral Development, v33 n3 p243-252 2009
Previous studies show that preschool children view negative emotions as susceptible to intentional control. However, the extent of this understanding and links with child social-emotional adjustment are poorly understood. To examine this, 62 3- and 4-year-olds were presented with puppet scenarios in which characters experienced anger, sadness, and fear. Forty-seven adults were presented with a parallel questionnaire. Participants rated the degree to which six emotion-regulation strategies were effective in decreasing negative emotions. Results showed that even the youngest preschoolers viewed cognitive and behavioral distraction and repairing the situation as relatively effective; compared to adults, however, preschoolers favored relatively "ineffective" strategies such as venting and rumination. Children also showed a functional view of emotion regulation; that effective strategies depend on the emotion being regulated. All participants favored repairing a negative situation to reduce anger and behavioral distraction to reduce sadness and fear. Finally, the more children indicated that venting would reduce negative emotions, the lower their maternal report of social skills. Findings are discussed in terms of functional emotion theory and implications of emotion-regulation understanding for child adjustment. (Contains 2 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A