SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Infants and their mothers participated in a longitudinal study of the sequelae of infant goal-blockage responses. Four-month-old infants participated in a standard contingency learning and goal-blockage procedure during which anger and sad facial expressions to the blockage were coded. When infants were 12 and 20 months old, mothers completed a questionnaire about their children’s tantrums. Tantrum scores increased with age and boys tended to show more tantrum behavior than girls. Anger expressed to goal blockage at 4 months was unrelated to tantrum behavior. There was a gender by sad expression interaction. Girls who expressed sadness in response to the goal blockage had lower total tantrum scores than boys; otherwise there was no difference. These results suggest that tantrums of infants who display sad, not anger expression, in response to goal blockage, are differentially influenced by children’s gender.