The relations of kindergartners' to 2nd graders' dispositional sympathy to individual differences in emotionality, regulation, and social functioning were examined. Sympathy was assessed with teacher- and self-reports; contemporaneously and 2 years earlier, parents and teachers reported on children's emotionality, regulation, and social functioning. Social functioning also was assessed with peer evaluations and children's enacted puppet behavior, and negative arousability-personal distress was assessed with physiological responses. In general, sympathy was associated with relatively high levels of regulation, teacher-reported positive emotionality and general emotional intensity, and especially for boys, high social functioning and low levels of negative emotionality, including physiological reactivity to a distress stimulus. Vagal tone was positively related to boys' self-reported sympathy, whereas the pattern was reversed for girls.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies