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Keywords:

  • emotion knowledge;
  • discrete emotions;
  • longitudinal growth

Abstract

We examined individual differences in developmental trajectories of emotion situation knowledge (ESK), at three time points throughout elementary school in a sample of children from economically disadvantaged families. Results showed that ESK and the subscales of joy, fear, anger, shame and interest exhibited positive growth from the first to the fifth grade, whereas scores on the sad subscale declined slightly. Preschool verbal ability predicted first grade scores for joy, fear, and anger, and growth in scores for shame across time. Preschool negative emotional intensity predicted slower growth in overall ESK and the anger and shame subscales. Taken together, these results broaden our basic knowledge of how children's use of situational cues to infer others' emotions develops in middle and late childhood.