Applications Centered on Emotional Competence: Lessons from the Field

  • Susanne A. Denham
  • Rosemary Burton


As we detailed in Chapter 7, the components of emotional competence show much development during the preschool period. Accumulating evidence from burgeoning array of literature on emotional competence indicates that individual differences in emotion understanding, as well as emotional expressiveness and regulation, contribute to young children’s social effectiveness. Following these new assertions, a number of prevention/intervention programs have been developed. For example, the programming that we (Denham & Burton, 1996; Burton & Denham, 1998) developed emphasized didactic activities in understanding and labeling emotions, to provide children with the use of feeling words to label affect in self and others, and recognition that actions can cause emotions. We reasoned that, once feelings are recognized and labeled, children also must learn to regulate the expression of those feelings into socially acceptable channels. In this chapter, we will describe the techniques used in our intervention, and those of others, to help young children learn about feelings. Where possible, we will also detail outcome evaluations for each program.


Emotion Regulation Head Start Emotional Expressiveness Emotional Competence Pretend Play 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susanne A. Denham
    • 1
  • Rosemary Burton
    • 2
  1. 1.George Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  2. 2.Minnieland Private Day School, Inc.WoodbridgeUSA

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