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Emotion knowledge and attentional differences in preschoolers showing context-inappropriate anger


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)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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