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Child Dev. 2013 May-Jun;84(3):891-905. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12027. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

Longitudinal relations among language skills, anger expression, and regulatory strategies in early childhood.

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The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA.


Researchers have suggested that as children's language skill develops in early childhood, it comes to help children regulate their emotions (Cole, Armstrong, & Pemberton, 2010; Kopp, 1989), but the pathways by which this occurs have not been studied empirically. In a longitudinal study of 120 children from 18 to 48 months of age, associations among child language skill, observed anger expression, and regulatory strategies during a delay task were examined. Toddlers with better language skill, and whose language skill increased more over time, appeared less angry at 48 months and their anger declined more over time. Two regulatory strategies, support seeking and distraction, explained a portion of the variance in the association between language skill and anger expression after toddlerhood.

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