Social-Emotional Development

Birth-2 years


  • Quality and intensity of emotional reactions
  • Factors are passivity, irritability, and active patterns
  • Passivity- how they're actively involved with surroundings
  • Irritability- their tendency to feel distressed
  • Activity Patterns- levels of movement with sleep/etc....
  • Need to adjust to different children's temperaments


  • Strong emotional connection that develops between people
  • Mainly to people who care for them
  • Children might smile when approached by them
  • Attachment behaviors: cooing, kicking, gurgling and laughing
  • Crying and clinging are also common behaviors
  • Distress can appear as irregular sleeping/eating patterns
  • Separation anxiety- Distress from caregivers leaving them
  • Distress because:
  • They dont know what to expect/unfamiliar surroundings

Changes Over Time

At birth: do not have refined emotions

3 months: respond to people with smiles/ laughing

6-12 months: actively involved with caregivers

12-24 months: show separation anxiety/interested in exploring