Development of the Self-Conscious Emotions in Maltreated Children
Steven M. Alessandri Medical College of Pennsylvania Michael Lewis University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
The study of emotional development has important implications for understanding the development and organization of processes underlying personality functioning and psychopathology. Research on the developmental sequelae of child maltreatment is important because it can contribute to our understanding of human development through the provision of information about the impact of punitive caregiving environments on the developing child. It is important to determine how children who have experienced extended interpersonal interactions in abusive familial environments construct, interpret, and structure their social world. Knowledge of emotional and self-development in maltreated children offers an opportunity to examine parental behaviors that influence these domains and about socialization processes in general.
Although considerable effort has been invested in the study of the primary emotions, those that occur in the first half year of life (e.g., anger, joy, interest, disgust, fear, and sadness), less attention has been paid to the development and measurement of the self-conscious emotions M. Lewis, 1993). It is widely believed that this set of emotions first emerges in the