The Relation of Children's Everyday Nonsocial Peer Play Behavior to Their Emotionality, Regulation, and Social Functioning

Tracy Spinrad, Nancy Eisenberg, Elizabeth Harris, Laura Hanish, Richard Fabes, Kristina Kupanoff, Staci Ringwald, Julie Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations

Abstract

The relations of children's nonsocial behavior to their emotionality, regulation, and social functioning were examined in a short-term longitudinal study. Parents (primarily mothers) and teachers rated children's effortful regulation, emotionality, asocial behaviors, problem behaviors, and social acceptance, and children's nonsocial play behaviors were observed for two semesters. Peers also rated likability. Children's observed reticent activities were related to adults' ratings of high regulation, low externalizing problems, and high asocial behavior, as well as to low anger and low positive emotion. On the other hand, solitary play was associated with low positive emotion and low regulation over time and with high asocial behavior and high peer exclusion. Peer rejection mediated the relation of internalizing emotions (anxiety, low positive emotion) and regulation to solitary play later in the school year, and asocial play mediated the relation of internalizing emotions to both solitary and reticent play behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-80
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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