there has also been a growing appreciation for the fact that children growing up in very different sociocultural contexts develop emotionally in different ways as a result of how emotions are socialized. Children learn to construe their emotional experience in culturally relevant ways (Eisenberg, 1986; Miller, 1994; Miller et al., 1996; Ochs, 1986).

After a brief overview, we describe in more detail what is known about how young children come to understand their own and other' s emotions and about the early development of emotion regulation. Throughout, it is clear that just as it is impossible to understand the construction of a 50-story building apart from the scaffolding that supported its emerging structure, it is impossible to understand early emotional development apart from the parent-child or caregiver-child relationship within which this process unfolds. In addition, the task of learning how to manage one's emotions constructively is a different challenge for children with different temperaments, as well as for their parents.

Emotional Development

Compared with efforts to understand how children learn, the study of emotion in young children is relatively new. Researchers are still asking (Mascolo and Griffin, 1998): What is emotional development the development of? The answers range from the capacity to identify one's own feelings, to the development of empathy, to the ability to constructively manage strong emotions. All are correct. As more is learned, we are struck by the richness and complexity of young children 's emotional lives, as well as by the remarkable accomplishments that they make in this area prior to school entry.

The ways in which researchers learn about emotional development are diverse and, in some cases, ingenious. Some have conducted fine-grained analysis of the facial expressions of young infants in interaction with their mothers; others have observed family interactions during dinnertime or bedtime (to obtain rich profiles of the family emotional climate), or engaged in conversations with young children about their understanding of emotion (often centered around hypothetical stories); still others have interviewed parents or other caregivers about the emotions they commonly observe in the children they care for. Few of these studies have followed



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