The Affect Knowledge Test (AKT) measures preschool children's receptive and expressive knowledge of emotion through identification of happy, sad, angry, and afraid puppet faces. Children's situational knowledge of emotion is also assessed by their identification of how puppets feel during a series of puppet vignettes. During these vignettes, puppeteers pretend, through vocal, facial, and bodily expression, developmentally appropriate, emotionally laden situations.
Long Parent English
Long Parent Japanese
Long Parent Portuguese
Long Parent Italian (non-stereotypical items not available)
Short Parent English
Short Parent Spanish
Short Teacher English
Computerized Short Teacher English
The Challenging Situations Task measures preschool children’s social-emotional information during developmentally appropriate peer situation vignettes through selection of affective and behavioral responses. Children are presented with a series of cartoon vignettes where a child is confronted by an aggressor. After the situation is presented, children are asked, “How would you feel?” with Happy, Sad, Angry, or Just Okay cartoon faces as options. Then, children are asked, “What would you do?” and are presented with situational options that include prosocial, aggressive, manipulative, and avoidant options.
Child English (CFI)
Child Japanese (CFI)
Parent English (PFI)
The Minnesota Preschool Affect Checklist is an observational measure of preschool children’s social-emotional functioning. Observers note for the presence of relevant behaviors for four, 5-minute coding intervals in a variety of naturalistic settings where children are playing and interacting with others. Coding intervals are spread out over a period of weeks. Behavioral items are collapsed into 9 categories, like positive and negative affect, positive and negative engagement, positive or negative reactions to frustration, peer skills, empathy, and unusual behavior.
The focal coding system of emotions and reactions to emotions utilizes focal-target, mutually exclusive and exhaustive observational coding for use in naturalistic contexts. For the first 5-minute coding trial, observers note for the presence of emotion codes, watching the focal individual’s facial, vocal, and behavioral expressions of emotion. When an emotion is coded, the target individual(s)’ reactions to this emotion, via facial, vocal, and/or behavioral means, are immediately coded. If the focal individual has ceased emoting by the end of target reaction coding, the observer codes the focal individual as neutral, and continues to watch for additional focal emotion coding opportunities. Upon completion of the first trial, observers switch focal and target individuals and complete another 5-minute coding trial, altogether constituting a 10-minute session; 8 sessions are completed in total. Focal-target mutually exclusive and exhaustive coding produces data streams that fit the necessary conditions for advanced analyses, including lag sequential analyses. Our laboratory is currently using tablet computers and an observational software package developed and maintained by Dr. William Roberts that facilitates the coding and analyses of focal-target data. Both a peer-child and teacher-child version is used by our lab in preschool classrooms (Focal-t), and legacy parent-child and peer-child versions have been used in the past (Focal-parent/peer).
The Parent-Child Affect Communication Task (PACT) is a coding scheme used for the analysis of parent-child emotional discourse (e.g., emotional reminiscence task, picture book reading). In this coding scheme, a trained coder identifies emotion terms, a reference of the emotion (e.g., own emotion, target’s emotion), and a functional attribution of the emotion (e.g., explaining, questioning, socializing). The total number of emotion terms, reference, and function is calculated for each speaker separately. The PACT coding has been used to tap “teaching/coaching” aspect of parental socialization of emotion. In addition to dyadic conversation, this coding scheme can be used with a group setting, such as book reading time at preschool to observe how preschool teachers talk about emotion in classroom.
Denham, S. A., Mitchell-Copeland, Strandberg, K., Auerbach, S., & Blair, K. (1997). Parental contributions to preschoolers' emotional competence: Direct and indirect effects. Motivation and Emotion, 27, 65-86. doi: 10.1023/A:1024426431247