social-emotional development

birth to age 2

Blair Rector


  • quality and intensity of emotional reactions
  • factors:
  • passivity- how actively involved a child is with his/her surroundings
  • irritability- tendency to feel distressed

  • activity patterns- levels of movement


  • strong emotional connection that develops between people
  • infants care and respond to people they care about
  • Ex: crying and cringing
  • separation anxiety- when a child protests because a familiar care giver is leaving

changes over time

birth to 3 months

  • no refined emotions
  • displays general excitement and general distress

3 to 6 months

  • respond with smiles and laughter
  • happy sounds
  • tears
  • various types of cries
  • separation anxiety begins

6 to 12 months

  • actively involved with caregivers
  • happiness, joy, surprise, anger, fear
  • strong attachment
  • clingy

12 to 24 months

  • separation anxiety (reaches the peak) and regular anxiety
  • exploring and curious
  • interested in other children
  • aware of their own abilities
  • frustrated
  • refuses constantly