Emotions in school and symptoms of psychological maladjustment from kindergarten to first grade

Maciel M. Hernández, Nancy Eisenberg, Carlos Valiente, Tracy Spinrad, Rebecca H. Berger, Sarah K. Johns, Kassondra M. Silva, Anjolii Diaz, Jody Southworth, Marilyn Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The associations between children's (N = 301) observed expression of positive and negative emotion in school and symptoms of psychological maladjustment (i.e., depressive and externalizing symptoms) were examined from kindergarten to first grade. Positive and negative emotional expressivity levels were observed in school settings, and teachers reported on measures of children's externalizing and depressive symptoms. In longitudinal panel models testing bidirectional paths, depressive symptoms in kindergarten were negatively associated with positive expressivity in first grade but not vice versa. Children's externalizing symptoms in kindergarten predicted higher negative expressivity in school in first grade. There was also significant prediction of externalizing in first grade by negative expressivity during kindergarten. Implications about child psychological maladjustment in early schooling are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-112
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Child psychological maladjustment
  • Emotions in school
  • First grade
  • Kindergarten
  • Negative emotion
  • Positive emotion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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