Observed Emotion Frequency Versus Intensity as Predictors of Socioemotional Maladjustment

Maciel M. Hernández, Nancy Eisenberg, Carlos Valiente, Tracy Spinrad, Sarah K. VanSchyndel, Anjolii Diaz, Rebecca H. Berger, Kassondra M. Silva, Jody Southworth, Armando Pina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to assess whether observed emotional frequency (the proportion of instances an emotion was observed) and intensity (the strength of an emotion when it was observed) uniquely predicted kindergartners' (N 301) internalizing and externalizing problems. Analyses were tested in a structural equation modeling (SEM) framework with data from multireporters (reports of problem behaviors from teachers and parents) and naturalistic observations of emotion in the fall semester. For observed positive emotion, both frequency and intensity negatively predicted parent- or teacher-reported internalizing symptoms. Anger frequency positively predicted parent- and teacherreported externalizing symptoms, whereas anger intensity positively predicted parent- and teacherreported externalizing and parent-reported internalizing symptoms. The findings support the importance of examining both aspects of emotion when predicting maladjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)699-704
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015



  • Anger
  • Externalizing
  • Internalizing
  • Positive emotion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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