Variations in childhood development are nowhere more conspicuous or important than in the development and expression of emotions. A child’s capacity to understand another’s feelings, to experience guilt or shame, to manipulate others emotionally, to anticipate the response of parents to displays of anger of distress, to exercise emotional control—all of these are aspects of socioemotional development. A concern with it is reflected in the efforts of researchers to understand the long-term consequences of the parent-infant attachment, the effects of maltreatment on young children, the influence of congenital disorders on their social and emotional functioning, and the origins of depression. Thus the topic of socioemotional development has far-reaching and fascinating applications to everyday life, as the essays in this volume reveal.
In Socioemotional Development leading scholars approach the topic from diverse perspectives, summarizing findings and discussing original research. They also address a number of broad developmental concerns: What are the lasting effects of early influence? What can account for the long-term consistency of individual characteristics? What are the origins of psychological disorders? To what extent is emotional experience socially constructed? How does biology affect emotion?
The contributors and their works are Carol Z. Malatesta, “The Role of Emotions in the Development and Organization of Personality”; Inge Bretherton, “Open Communication and Internal Working Models: Their Role in the Development of Attachment Relationships”; Carolyn Saarni, “Emotional Competence: How Emotions and Relationships Become Integrated”: Carolyn Zahn-Waxler and Grazyna Kochanska, “The Origins of Guilt”; Dante Cicchetti, “The Organization and Coherence of Socioemotional, Cognitive, and Representational Development: Illustrations through a Developmental Psychopathology Perspective on Down’s Syndrome and Child Maltreatment.”
About the Author
Editor Ross A. Thompson reviews current trends in the study of socioemotional development in his introduction. An associate professor of psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he has published more than sixty scholarly articles and chapters and contributed to Infant-Mother Attachment (1985).