Effectiveness of Emotion Recognition Training for Young Children with Developmental Delays

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Emotion recognition is a basic skill that is thought to facilitate development of social and emotional competence. There is little research available examining whether therapeutic or instructional interventions can improve the emotion recognition skill of young children with various developmental disabilities. Sixteen preschool children with developmental delays were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The experimental group received instruction in emotion recognition throughout the academic year in a discrete trials format and showed significant growth in emotion recognition skill and higher scores on a more comprehensive measure of emotion understanding ability. The control group showed no such gains. Significant individual variability in response to the intervention was noted. Results suggested that emotion recognition training delivered within a behaviorally based intervention program can lead to significant gains in emotion recognition skill for children at a wide range of ability levels. Implications and suggestions for future research and interventions are discussed.


This article was originally published in Journal of Early and Intensive Behavior Intervention. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Journal of Early and Intensive Behavior Intervention


Copyright © 2008, American Psychological Association