Social Emotional Develpoment

Birth-age 2


  • Quality and intensity of emotional reactions
  • Passivity, irritability, and activity patters are temperament
  • Passivity is how involved an infant is
  • Irritability is the tendency to feel distressed
  • Activity patterns are movement levels in infants


  • Strong emotional connection that happens between people
  • Infants become attached to their caretakers
  • The quality of attachment depends on the adults
  • Separation anxiety-baby protests because caregiver leaves
  • SA begins at 6 months
  • By 15 months, SA is very strong
  • 9-18 months have difficulty starting childcare program

Changes Over Time

Birth to Three Months:

  • General excitement and general distress are the only emotions shown
  • Distress is shown by crying
  • There aren't tears when the child cries
Three to Six Months:

  • Children respond with smiles and laughter
  • Infants notice and smile at other babies
  • Crying with tears to show distress
  • Use different cries for different distress
Six to Twelve Months:

  • Infants become actively involved with their caregivers
  • Make sounds responsively to other people talking
  • Begin to develop fear
  • Cry and show anger when caregivers leave
  • Separation anxiety starts to show
Twelve to Twenty-Four Months:

  • Become upset of what they think'll happen
  • Become more interested in exploring
  • Secure children are more likely to explore
  • Start to take interest in other children
  • Play next to, but not interact with
  • Aware of their own abilities
  • Self-aware kids like to say "no"