Development of Emotions and Emotion Regulation

Manfred Holodynski, Wolfgang Friedlmeier, J. Harrow
2005
Emotion Regulation

vii PREFACE: It was 13 years ago that we met for the first time at a German developmental psychology conference. One of us, Wolfgang Friedlmeier (WF), was interested in ontogenetic development from a cross-cultural perspective. He presented a study on the development of empathy and distress in preschool age, dealing with how far children from different cultures respond to comparable demands with different emotions and regulation strategies. The other, Manfred Holodynski (MH), was - terested in ontogenetic development from the perspective of internalization: how processes that are originally socially distributed between persons are transformed into mental processes within the individual. He presented a study on the development of the emotions pride and shame in preschool age.

This led the two of us to discover our common interest in central issues of emotional development: What role do the emotions play in an individual’s activity regulation? What is it exactly that is “developing” when we talk about emotional development? Do emotional processes have a social genesis? And what is the role of the early social interactions between children and their caregivers, along with the obvious fact that individuals grow up and live in completely different cultures? Even at this time, we both already suspected that the social and cultural embedment of the individual would prove to be a key to understanding how the diversity of human emotions and their regulation develop.