Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

pp 75-82

Affective Development

  • Nurit YirmiyaAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Email author 
  • , Ifat SeidmanAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Affective development pertains to the emergence of the emotional capacity to experience, recognize, and express a range of emotions and to adequately respond to emotional cues in others. Emotions such as happiness or fear are defined as subjective reactions to experience that are associated with physiological and behavioral changes. Emotional functioning comprises several aspects, including the inducement and elicitation of internal physiological states, the physiological pathways that mediate these internal states, the emotional expressions, and the perception of affect. Overt manifestations of affective expressions and responses include facial expressions, voice, postures, and movements. Affective development is intertwined with the development of social skills, and this psychosocial combination reflects one’s distinctive personality and tendencies when responding to others, engaging in social interactions, and adapting to the interpersonal world (Saarni, Campos, ...

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