Observed Emotions as Predictors of Quality of Kindergartners’ Social Relationships

Maciel M. Hernández, Nancy Eisenberg, Carlos Valiente, Tracy Spinrad, Sarah K. Vanschyndel, Anjolii Diaz, Kassondra M. Silva, Rebecca H. Berger, Jody Southworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This study evaluated whether positive and anger emotional frequency (the proportion of instances an emotion was observed) and intensity (the strength of an emotion when it was observed) uniquely predicted social relationships among kindergarteners (N = 301). Emotions were observed as naturally occurring at school in the fall term and multiple reporters (peers and teachers) provided information on quality of relationships with children in the spring term. In structural equation models, positive emotion frequency, but not positive emotion intensity, was positively related to peer acceptance and negatively related to peer rejection. In contrast, the frequency of anger provided unique positive prediction of teacher–student conflict and negative prediction of peer acceptance. Furthermore, anger intensity negatively predicted teacher–student closeness and positively predicted teacher–student conflict. Implications for promoting social relationships in school are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-39
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • emotions in school
  • peer acceptance
  • peer rejection
  • teacher–student relationship quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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