The project from which these data were derived was supported, in part, by three grants from the National Institute of Mental Health: the first to H. Hill Goldsmith (R01-MH50560), the Wisconsin Center for Affective Sciences (Richard Davidson, P50 MH52354), and a National Research Service Award to the first author (F31-MH11747). The second author was supported by a Huggins Graduate Fellowship from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Portions of this project were presented at the 2003 Society for Research in Child Development meeting. We extend special thanks to Kathryn Stern-Holmes, Paty Perez, Suzanne Welch, and Amy Hopper. We express our appreciation to the families and toddlers who participated in this project.
Comparison of Sadness, Anger, and Fear Facial Expressions When Toddlers Look at Their Mothers
Article first published online: 22 NOV 2004
Volume 75, Issue 6, pages 1761–1773, December 2004
How to Cite
Buss, K. A. and Kiel, E. J. (2004), Comparison of Sadness, Anger, and Fear Facial Expressions When Toddlers Look at Their Mothers. Child Development, 75: 1761–1773. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2004.00815.x
- Issue published online: 22 NOV 2004
- Article first published online: 22 NOV 2004
Research suggests that sadness expressions may be more beneficial to children than other emotions when eliciting support from caregivers. It is unclear, however, when children develop the ability to regulate their displays of distress. The current study addressed this question. Distress facial expressions (e.g., fear, anger, and sadness) were examined in 24-month-old toddlers throughout 4 episodes as well as specifically during looks to their mothers. Consistent with hypotheses and the literature, toddlers expressed sadness more frequently and with more intensity than target emotions only during looks to their mothers. These findings indicate that toddlers as young as 24 months of age are using particular emotional displays to elicit support from the social environment.