Peer Nominations of Emotional Expressivity Among Urban Children: Social and Psychological Correlates


Carisa Perry-Parrish, Johns Hopkins Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 600 N. Wolfe St, CMSC 312, Baltimore MD 21287, USA. Email:


The current study examined associations between peer nominations of children's expression of negative emotions and psychological, social, and behavioral correlates in a sample of 523 first graders. Children (85 percent African-American) completed a peer nomination measure for expressing negative emotions. In addition, three other domains of functioning were assessed using multiple raters: internalizing symptoms (self, parent), externalizing behavior (parent, teacher), and social competence (parent, teacher). Regression analyses indicated that peer nominations of negative emotions predicted higher levels of teacher-rated externalizing behavior and lower levels of teacher-rated social competence. Peer nominations of emotions were significantly associated with teacher ratings but unrelated to self- and parent-report measures. Adding to a small but growing literature, our findings underscore the importance of assessing peer perceptions of children's emotional expressivity and their associations to social and psychological functioning in an urban, predominantly African-American sample.