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The moderating role of internalising negative emotionality in the relation of self-regulation to social adjustment in Italian preschool-aged children

The purpose of this study was to examine the moderating role of internalising negative emotionality (i.e., anxious, concerned, and embarrassed displays) in the association between children's self-regulation and social adjustment. Seventy-four Italian children (44 girls, 30 boys; [mean] age = 35.05 months, SD = 3.57) were assessed using two self-regulation tasks. Internalising negative emotionality was assessed through observations of children's emotion expressions during the tasks. Teachers evaluated children's social competence and internalising and externalising problems. Results demonstrated that among children who exhibited internalising negative emotionality, self-regulation was positively associated with social competence and negatively related to externalising problems. Our results suggest that self-regulation may play a crucial role for social adjustment when children show emotions such as anxiety and embarrassment during challenging situations. (author abstract)
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