In this study we assessed individual differences among preschoolers' emotion understanding, verbal ability, and gender role behavior. Fifty-three children (M = 3 years, 5 months; 26 girls, 27 boys) participated in task that used puppets to assess their understanding of simple (happy, sad) and complex emotions (proud, embarrassed) and a standard vocabulary task. Parents completed a questionnaire on the frequency of their children's gender-typed behavior. Results indicated positive associations between children's total emotion understanding and both general verbal ability (particularly for boys) and parents' perceptions of stereotypic feminine behaviors. Gender analysis revealed that, independent of vocabulary ability, girls scored higher than boys on emotion labeling and understanding of complex emotions, especially the concept of pride. Results are discussed in relation to individual differences and effects of sociocultural context.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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