The study investigated the emergence of toddlers’ regulatory strategies in aversive contexts. Forty-two toddlers were observed at 24 and 30 months of age using two paradigms designed to elicit fear and anger. We examined toddlers’ use of regulatory strategies at these two stages of life regarding the frequency of self-versus other-oriented strategies and of reactive versus more controlled behaviors. Results showed that the type and level of control of strategies used in toddlerhood in managing negative emotions depend on emotion (e.g., fear versus anger) and age. Toddlers used self-oriented strategies to regulate fear and other-oriented strategies to regulate anger. To manage fear, when toddlers got older, they increased the use of reactive strategies (i.e., releasing tension) and decreased the use of more purposeful strategies (i.e., dealing with the aversive stimulus). In contrast, to regulate anger, toddlers utilized an intermediate level of control (i.e., drawing the mother’s attention to themselves) and increased the use of this strategy with age. In addition, toddlers were able to select appropriate strategies for different stressors, and they increased with age the ability to adapt the strategies to the environmental conditions. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Emotion Regulation in Toddlerhood: Regulatory Strategies in Anger and Fear Eliciting Contexts at 24 and 30 Months

Silvia Ponzetti;Maria Spinelli
;
Francesca Lionetti;Giulio D’Urso;Mirco Fasolo;Tiziana Aureli
2023-01-01

Abstract

The study investigated the emergence of toddlers’ regulatory strategies in aversive contexts. Forty-two toddlers were observed at 24 and 30 months of age using two paradigms designed to elicit fear and anger. We examined toddlers’ use of regulatory strategies at these two stages of life regarding the frequency of self-versus other-oriented strategies and of reactive versus more controlled behaviors. Results showed that the type and level of control of strategies used in toddlerhood in managing negative emotions depend on emotion (e.g., fear versus anger) and age. Toddlers used self-oriented strategies to regulate fear and other-oriented strategies to regulate anger. To manage fear, when toddlers got older, they increased the use of reactive strategies (i.e., releasing tension) and decreased the use of more purposeful strategies (i.e., dealing with the aversive stimulus). In contrast, to regulate anger, toddlers utilized an intermediate level of control (i.e., drawing the mother’s attention to themselves) and increased the use of this strategy with age. In addition, toddlers were able to select appropriate strategies for different stressors, and they increased with age the ability to adapt the strategies to the environmental conditions. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
children-10-00878.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: PDF editoriale
Dimensione 728.8 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
728.8 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/806570
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 1
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 0
social impact