Document Type

Honors Paper

Publication Date



This study examined emotion knowledge and language skills in kindergarteners, and how these skills jointly affect children’s overall social, behavioral and academic functioning. Participants included 60 kindergarteners from a language and literacy-enhanced early childhood school, who were individually interviewed using the Kusche Affective Interview-Revised. Additionally, all participants’ expressive and receptive language skills were tested using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) and the Expressive One-Word Vocabulary Test (EVT). Participants’ language and emotion knowledge scores were then compared to social, behavioral and academic performance as noted in the school’s teacher-rated report card. Preliminary analyses indicated positive correlations between language skills and emotion knowledge. Additionally researchers found positive correlations between language skills and some areas of academic success, especially for expressive language skills. Some aspects of emotion knowledge were related to school success, but contrary to predictions, emotion knowledge could not predict above and beyond language skills in the academic and behavioral domain. Socioeconomic comparisons found significant multivariate differences between language skills, but only weak evidence of emotion knowledge score differences and report card differences. Findings suggest positive effects of language and literacy enhanced preschools to help close the gap between socioeconomic groups. Furthermore, due to the observed relationship between language skills and emotion knowledge, these findings support the need to control for language skills whenever studying emotion knowledge in the future.



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