Alexandria Digital Research Library

Promoting young children's understanding of the situations, thoughts, and prosocial responses related to jealousy

Pieng, Patrick
Degree Supervisor:
Yukari Okamoto
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
Issued Date:
Developmental psychology and Early childhood education
Emotion Training
Emotion Understanding
Online resources and Dissertations, Academic
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara. Education
Ph.D.--University of California, Santa Barbara, 2015

The current study examined young children's understanding of one complex emotion, jealousy. Specifically, the purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of emotion trainings on 5- to 8-year-old children's knowledge about the situations, thoughts, and prosocial responses related to jealousy. Additionally, the study further examined the relative effectiveness of two types of emotion training.

Participants were 53 children (M = 84 months, SD = 6 months, age range: 68 to 96 months) recruited from the kindergarten and first-grade classrooms of two public elementary schools. Children were assigned either to one of two experimental emotion-training conditions or a control condition. Children in the experimental conditions were provided three emotion-training sessions to teach them about the situations, thoughts, and prosocial cognitive/behavioral responses related to jealousy while children in the control condition did not receive any emotion training. Both emotion trainings involved engaging children in discussions about the components of jealousy. For one training, the discussions were paired with the presentation of dynamic visual stimuli (i.e. animated video clips) while another training incorporated role-play exercises along with the discussions and video clips. All children were assessed for their understanding of jealousy using a free-recall task and a situation discrimination task.

Children in the experimental conditions made significant pre- to post-test gains in their knowledge of all three components of jealousy after participating in the emotion trainings, while children in the control condition did not make significant pre- to post-test gains in their understanding. When comparing average pre- to post-test gains among conditions, the video and role play training was most effective at helping children improve their knowledge about jealousy-eliciting situations, although both emotion-trainings were equally effective at helping children acquire greater understandings of prosocial ways of responding to jealousy-eliciting situations. Children had the most difficulty acquiring more thorough understandings of the thoughts characteristic of jealousy. Limitations of the study along with the significance of the findings were discussed.

Physical Description:
1 online resource (144 pages)
UCSB electronic theses and dissertations
Catalog System Number:
Inc.icon only.dark In Copyright
Copyright Holder:
Patrick Pieng
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