Some children show anger inappropriate for the situation based on the predominant incentives, which is called context-inappropriate anger. Children need to attend to and interpret situational incentives for appropriate emotional responses. We examined associations of context-inappropriate anger with emotion recognition and attention problems in 43 preschoolers (42% male; [mean] age=55.1 months, SD=4.1). Parents rated context-inappropriate anger across situations. Teachers rated attention problems using the Child Behavior Checklist-Teacher Report Form. Emotion recognition was ability to recognize emotional faces using the Emotion Matching Test. Anger perception bias was indicated by anger to non-anger situations using an adapted Affect Knowledge Test. 28% of children showed context-inappropriate anger, which correlated with lower emotion recognition ([beta]=-.28) and higher attention problems ([beta]=.36). Higher attention problems correlated with more anger perception bias ([beta]=.32). This cross-sectional, correlational study provides preliminary findings that children with context-inappropriate anger showed more attention problems, which suggests that both "problems" tend to covary and associate with deficits or biases in emotion knowledge. (author abstract)
Emotion knowledge and attentional differences in preschoolers showing context-inappropriate anger
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