Self-Regulation, Language Skills, and Emotion Knowledge in Young Children From Northern Germany

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Research Findings: In order to examine the explanatory power of behavioral self-regulation in the domain of emotion knowledge, especially in a non-U.S. culture, 365 German 4- and 5-year-olds were individually tested on these constructs. Path analyses revealed that children’s behavioral self-regulation explained their emotion knowledge in the context of the less instructionally oriented German kindergarten, much like in the United States. In addition, behavioral self-regulation contributed uniquely to the explanation of German children’s emotion knowledge, even when language skills and a measure of verbal conflict inhibition as known predictors of emotion knowledge were included as covariates. The path model for the 4-year-olds underlined the importance of behavioral self-regulation and showed less integration among verbal conflict inhibition, language skills, and emotion knowledge than that for the 5-year-olds. Practice or Policy: Results underline the importance of self-regulation for young children’s learning about emotions in all cultures, alone and in tandem with receptive language skills and abilities for (verbal) inhibition.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEarly Education and Development
Issue number5-6
Pages (from-to)792-806
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 01.07.2015

    Research areas

  • Psychology - Emotion knowledge, executive function, self-regulation, language skills