Social and Emotional Development in Infancy
Published Online: 26 SEP 2012
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition
How to Cite
Easterbrooks, M. A., Bartlett, J. D., Beeghly, M. and Thompson, R. A. 2012. Social and Emotional Development in Infancy. Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition.
- Published Online: 26 SEP 2012
The study of socioemotional development reflects the intertwining nature of the processes of social and emotional growth. In this chapter, we focus on social and emotional development of infants and toddlers. We begin by outlining the contextual frames that inform our review: psychobiological, relational, and cultural. Emotions have been referred to as the language of infancy, and our profile of early emotional development focuses on several key aspects of emotions and how they shape, and are shaped by, social interactions; we include discussions of temperament, the importance of face-to-face social interactions, the role of social relationships in emotion regulation, and the growth of self-understanding. In the section that follows, we focus on attachment relationships between infants and their caregivers, addressing central questions related to individual differences in attachment security, and the influence of infants' attachment relationships on later developmental functioning. Our orientation in this chapter highlights that the contours of emotional development in the early years both are informed by, and contribute to, social interactions and relationships.
Keywords: infancy; emotion; relationships; temperament; attachment; socioemotional