In the KEeKs project, we are interested in the relations between the development of emotional and language competencies in childhood.
In a series of empirical studies, the KEeKS projekt aims to investigate the relationships between language development and the develpoment of emotional competences in children. Previous research support the assumption, that children with high levels of language competence are better able to regulate emotional expressions and impulsive behavior and seem to be less prone to behavioral problems. So far, research on the mechanisms behind these relationships is limited. It seems plausible that advanced language competences might facilitate children’s understanding of parents’ and teachers’ emotion coaching as well as children’s own cognitive representation of emotions and emotion regulation strategies. Moreover, children with well-developed language competences might have it easier to communicate their needs and feelings and thus might be able to solve problems more efficiently.
In current studies, we focus on whether the development of emotion-specific language skills (size and depth of emotion vocabulary) in children aged 4 to 16 years supports the development of further emotional competencies such as emotion recognition, knowledge about emotion regulation strategies as well as emotion regulation skills. Based on theoretical approaches on the hierarchical structure of emotion concepts and their development, a multistage procedure was used to develop the Children's Emotion Vocabulary Vignettes Test (CEVVT; Streubel et al., 2020; Grosse & Streubel et al., 2021). The CEVVT consists of 20 vignettes, i.e. short short illustrated scenarios depicting a child in an emotion-provoking situation. The task is to name the emotion that the child in each vignette might feel. In line with recent research on lexical development, the data can be analyzed in a variety of ways to provide differentiated conclusions about the development of emotion vocabulary. As well as its correlation with general language competencies on the one hand and emotional competencies on the other.
Streubel, B., Gunzenhauser, C., Grosse, G., & Saalbach, H. (2020). Emotion-specific vocabulary and its contribution to emotion understanding in 4-to 9-year-old children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 193, 104790. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2019.104790
Grosse, G., Streubel, B., Gunzenhauser, C., & Saalbach, H. (2021). Let’s talk about emotions: The development of children’s emotion vocabulary from 4 to 11 years of age. Affective Science, 2(2), 150-162. doi: 10.1007/s42761-021-00040-2
Information on the projekt
Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)