By Deborah Williams
Pamela M. Cole, liberal arts research professor of psychology and human development and family studies at Pennsylvania State University, was the lead researcher in a study of early language ability and later anger regulation ability. According to the article, “Toddlers’ Language Skills Predict Less Anger by Preschool,” on the Science Daily website, toddlers with better developed language skills are better able to express frustration and anger when they enter preschool than toddlers with poor language skills.
The subjects in this study were 120 children between 18 and 48 months old from lower middle-income families. Researchers observed subjects’ language skills and their ability to cope with tasks that might frustrate them in both home and lab visits. The researchers noted similarities among toddlers with better language skills:
- They showed less anger at age 4 than their peers.
- They calmly sought their parents’ support while having to wait for something.
- They were better able to occupy themselves, so waiting was easier for them.