Socio-emotional development in Chinese children

Xinyin Chen

in Oxford Handbook of Chinese Psychology

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199541850
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Socio-emotional development in Chinese children

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Developmental researchers have observed considerable individual differences in children's socio-emotional functioning. Whereas some children are sociable and cooperative and tend to engage in positive social interactions, others exhibit hostile and defiant behaviours. In the past twenty years, socio-emotional development in Chinese children has received increased attention from researchers in psychology, anthropology, and health science. This article focuses mainly on two fundamental dimensions of socio-emotional functioning, social initiative and control, and the social behaviours that are formed based upon different key dimensions. It discusses some theoretical issues and a conceptual framework concerning culture and socio-emotional development. It also takes on the works on Chinese children's dispositional characteristics in the early years and socio-emotional functioning in childhood and adolescence, mainly from a cross-cultural perspective. Furthermore, it reviews the findings of the studies conducted to examine the implications of macro-level social, economic, and cultural changes in China for socialization and children's socio-emotional functioning.

Keywords: Chinese children; developmental psychology; socio-emotional development; social understanding; dispositional characteristics

Article.  10419 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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