You are not currently logged in.
Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Children's Reports of Conflict between Simultaneous Opposite-Valence Emotions
Nancy Rumbaugh Whitesell and Susan Harter
Vol. 60, No. 3 (Jun., 1989), pp. 673-682
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1130732
Page Count: 10
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
This study investigated children's reports of their experiences of simultaneous different-valence emotions and examined whether such reports included indications of internal conflict or ambivalence. A structured interview and a procedure to assess internal emotional conflict were developed and administered to children aged 9-12. Our findings call into question previous assumptions about the necessary presence of conflict. Children reported conflict in slightly less than half of the multiple-emotion experiences they described. When conflict was reported, children convincingly recounted a dynamic interaction between the 2 feelings, often personifying the feelings as arguing over what to do or which feeling should predominate. When children described the absence of conflict, they often emphasized the lack of distress accompanying the feelings or pointed out that the situation was relatively unimportant. Reports of conflict were related to the degree to which the positive or negative emotion was stronger and to the perceived similarity or dissimilarity of the 2 emotions: Conflict was most likely when the negative emotion was reported to be equal to or more intense than the positive emotion and when the 2 emotions were perceived to be different.
Child Development © 1989 Society for Research in Child Development