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The impact of developing social perspective-taking skills on emotionality in middle and late childhood

[journal article]

Bengtsson, Hans; Arvidsson, Åsa

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Abstract A sample of 209 children was followed longitudinally to examine the impact of growing perspective-taking skills on positive and negative emotionality in middle and late childhood. Perspective-taking skills were assessed through interviews. Teachers rated children's emotional reactivity and capacity to regain a neutral state following emotional arousal. Analyses of contemporaneous data revealed that more developed perspective-taking skills were associated with moderate levels of emotional reactivity. In addition, in children with high emotional reactivity, good perspective-taking skills were associated with good capacity to regain a neutral affective state following emotional arousal. Longitudinal analyses revealed that children who made gains in perspective-taking skills over a two-year-period became more moderate in negative emotional reactivity and improved their ability to down-regulate strong positive emotions. The overall findings support the notion that children use perspective-taking skills as a tool for optimal regulation of emotional responses.
Classification Developmental Psychology
Free Keywords perspective taking; emotion regulation; middle childhood; late childhood
Document language English
Publication Year 2011
Page/Pages p. 353-375
Journal Social Development, 20 (2011) 2
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)