Child Psychiatry and Human Development

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 29–44 | Cite as

Social competence in young children's peer relations: Patterns of development and change

  • Susanne A. Denham
  • Carolyn Zahn-Waxler
  • E. Mark Cummings
  • Ronald J. Iannotti
Articles

Abstract

Patterns of developmental change and individual differences in social competence were examined in children of depressed and psychiatrically well mothers, during the toddler-to-late-preschool period. Forty-one children were observed in peer interaction at ages two and five under semi-naturalistic laboratory conditions intended to elicit a range of emotions and social skills. Social competence increased with age, but patterns of developmental change were moderated by maternal diagnosis. Low levels of individual stability were identified in children's social competence.

Key words

Maternal depression social competence preschoolers 

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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susanne A. Denham
    • 1
  • Carolyn Zahn-Waxler
    • 2
  • E. Mark Cummings
    • 3
  • Ronald J. Iannotti
    • 4
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentGeorge Mason UniversityFairfax
  2. 2.National Institute of Mental HealthUSA
  3. 3.West Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  4. 4.Georgetown UniversityWashington D.C.USA

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