Relations of Early Goal‐Blockage Response and Gender to Subsequent Tantrum Behavior
Infants and their mothers participated in a longitudinal study of the sequelae of infant goal‐blockage responses. Four‐month‐old infants participated in a standard contingency learning and goal‐blockage procedure during which anger and sad facial expressions to the blockage were coded. When infants were 12 and 20 months old, mothers completed a questionnaire about their children’s tantrums. Tantrum scores increased with age and boys tended to show more tantrum behavior than girls. Anger expressed to goal blockage at 4 months was unrelated to tantrum behavior. There was a gender by sad expression interaction. Girls who expressed sadness in response to the goal blockage had lower total tantrum scores than boys; otherwise there was no difference. These results suggest that tantrums of infants who display sad, not anger expression, in response to goal blockage, are differentially influenced by children’s gender.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
10.1111/j.1532-7078.2011.00077.x About DOI