Contemporaneous and longitudinal prediction of children's sympathy from dispositional regulation and emotionality.

Nancy Eisenberg, Richard Fabes, S. A. Shepard, B. C. Murphy, S. Jones, I. K. Guthrie

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The relation of 8- to 10-year-olds' teacher-reported dispositional sympathy to regulation and emotionality was examined with a longitudinal sample. In general, sympathy was correlated with adults' reports of regulation and low negative emotionality contemporaneously and, to some degree, 2 and 4 years prior. General emotional intensity interacted with some aspects of regulation in predicting sympathy; for example, attention focusing predicted sympathy but only for children low in general emotional intensity. In general, the pattern of correlations changed little from age 6-8 to age 8-10 years, although parent-reported negative emotionality was more highly negatively related to sympathy at the older age. Dispositional sympathy was associated with verbal or physiological markers of sympathy in a laboratory setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)910-924
Number of pages15
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1998


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