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Developmental and Temperamental Differences in Emotion Regulation in Infancy

Sarah C. Mangelsdorf, Janet R. Shapiro and Donald Marzolf
Child Development
Vol. 66, No. 6 (Dec., 1995), pp. 1817-1828
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1131912
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1131912
Page Count: 12
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Developmental and Temperamental Differences in Emotion Regulation in Infancy
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Abstract

One of the major adaptations during the infancy period is the development of the ability to cope with arousing or uncertain events. The following study was designed to examine emotion regulation strategy use between 6 and 18 months. 75 infants (25 each of 6-, 12-, and 18-month-olds) were videotaped interacting with 3 female strangers. Coping strategies were coded using a portable computer with a continuous sampling program, enabling coders to record both frequencies and durations of behaviors. Results indicated that 6-month-olds were more likely than 12- or 18-month-olds to use gaze aversion and fussing as their primary emotion regulation strategies, and were less likely than the older infants to use self-soothing and self-distraction. 18-month-olds were more likely than the younger infants to attempt to direct their interactions with the strangers. Infants' strategy use also differed as a function of their wariness of strangers, particularly at 12 months of age.

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