Development and Psychopathology

Development and Psychopathology (2004), 16:2:371-387 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © 2004 Cambridge University Press
doi:10.1017/S0954579404044566

Children's emotion processing: Relations to emotionality and aggression


DAVID  SCHULTZ  a1 c1 , CARROLL E.  IZARD  a2 and GEORGE  BEAR  a2
a1 Johns Hopkins University
a2 University of Delaware

Article author query
schultz d   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
izard ce   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
bear g   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

We examined the relations between emotionality, emotion processing, and aggression in 182 first- and second-grade children. Consistent with Tomkins' and Izard's theoretical predictions, emotionality correlated with emotion processing. In particular, the happiness component of emotionality correlated with emotion attribution accuracy and empathy, the anger component correlated with anger attribution bias and empathy, and the fear component correlated with fear attribution bias. Multiple emotion processing deficits—including emotion attribution accuracy, anger attribution bias, and self-report of empathy—placed children at risk for heightened levels of teacher-reported aggression. Mediational analyses revealed that an emotion processing risk index fit a model of significant partial mediation between happiness and aggression but not between anger and aggression. The results suggest the multifaceted manner in which children's emotion experiences may influence the development of aggressive tendencies. a


Correspondence:
c1 Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Dr. David Schultz, University of Maryland–Baltimore County, Department of Psychology, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250; E-mail: dschultz@umbc.edu.


Footnotes

a The authors thank the teachers, staff, parents, and students of the Smyrna, DE, school district for their enthusiastic participation in this project and the dedicated work of Fran Haskins and our many research assistants at the University of Delaware.



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