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Interestingly, there was some evidence that age differences were more apparent when children were in a context that did not include the support of adults; there were no differences in the independent play strategy when children were in the situation in which the parent was active. However, in the situation in which the parent was passive, younger children were less likely to engage in this strategy. The results of our study support the expected developmental progression toward increasingly autonomous forms of regulation outlined above and illustrates the younger toddler's greater reliance on caretakers for supporting regulatory attempts.

A second set of findings of the study involved age-related differences in associations between strategy use and emotional distress. Correlations between particular strategies (e.g., the negative relations between focus on the desired object and distress) were stronger in the older relative to the younger children. This suggests a greater coherence of the emotional regulatory system as children move through the toddler period.

The findings from the Grolnick, Bridges, and DeCourcey (2004) study highlight the developmental nature of emotional self-regulation. The results are consistent with the view that development is characterized by increasing autonomy and systemic coherence. In general, these results, and those from our earlier studies support a self-determination model of the development of emotional self-regulation.

As indicated earlier, dampening down negative affect is only one aspect of emotional self-regulation, increasing positive affect is another type of regulation that can facilitate goal pursuit. Thus, in another study, Grolnick, Cosgrove, and Bridges (1996) focused on the initiation of positive affect during free play in 140 toddlers. First, all expressions of positive affect by children were identified. Next, we coded whether these affective displays were child-initiated (i.e., spontaneous), prompted (i.e., following some maternal verbal or nonverbal behavior that did not involve the expression of positive affect), or mother-initiated (i.e., following a maternal affective display). Results indicated that the proportion of prompted episodes increased with age, particularly between 12 and 18 months, and then leveled off. Thus, by 18 months, children were able to respond with positive affect to neutral actions and verbalizations by their mothers at a rate comparable to older children. The proportion of child-initiated displays also increased with age, particularly between 24 and 32 months. Finally, mother-initiated episodes decreased with age. The results support our thesis that, as they become older, children take greater responsibility for regulating affective exchanges with others. We speculate that the transition between 12 and 18 months in prompted episodes may be due to children's emerging representational capacities. Such capacities, including recall memory, enable the child to evoke representations of earlier positive exchanges and enact them in the present (Kopp, 1989). However, children still require concrete prompts to exercise these capacities. By 24 months, children have developed their representational capacities to the point that they are able to initiate positive exchanges in an unsupported manner.

Joy Of Modern Parenting Collection

Joy Of Modern Parenting Collection

This is a collection of parenting guides. Within this collection you will find the following titles: Issues, rule and discipline, self esteem and tips plus more.

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