Children’s emotional expressiveness with peers was examined as a predictor of social competence. Data were collected from 122 preschool children (57 boys, 65 girls; 86 European American, 9 African American, 17 Hispanic, and 10 other ethnicity) over a period of two years. Observations of children’s peer interactions in Year 1 were coded for frequency and intensity of happiness, anger, sadness, and fear. Sociometric interviews and teacher ratings provided assessments of children’s peer competence in both Years 1 and 2. Frequent expression of happiness in Year 1 predicted higher social competence scores in Year 2, whereas frequent anger in Year 1 predicted lower peer competence Year 2. More intense anger and sadness in Year 1 predicted lower peer social competence scores in Year 2. Frequency and intensity of emotional expressiveness in Year 1 accounted for unique variance in peer competence in Year 2.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies