Emotionality

Children's emotional responsivity is reflected in the intensity and frequency with which they experience negative emotions. By emotional intensity, we mean stable individual differences in the typical intensity with which individuals experience their emotions (i.e., affective intensity, as defined by Larsen & Diener, 1987). Both the intensity of emotional experiences and the ease with which individuals respond intensely (which likely is highly related to quantity of responding) are expected to contribute to the degree to which individuals become emotionally aroused in a given situation. Similar to others, we view emotional intensity as having a temperamental or biological/constitutional basis, and as a characteristic that is considerably consistent over time (Larsen & Diener, 1987; Rothbart & Bates, 1998; also see Plomin & Stocker, 1989).

In initial early work on this topic, dispositional emotional intensity was associated with the degree of positive or negative emotion experienced in specific contexts (Larsen & Diener, 1987), as well as with adults' physiological arousal to empathy-inducing stimuli (Eisenberg, Fabes, Schaller, Miller, et al., 1991). Thus, individual differences in emotional intensity seemed to be a likely predictor of the tendency to become emotionally overaroused in emotional contexts.

Joy Of Modern Parenting Collection

Joy Of Modern Parenting Collection

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