Social Skills and Emotional and Behavioral Traits of Preschool Children

By Arslan, Emel; Durmusoglu-Saltali, Neslihan et al. | Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, October 20, 2011 | Go to article overview

Social Skills and Emotional and Behavioral Traits of Preschool Children


Arslan, Emel, Durmusoglu-Saltali, Neslihan, Yilmaz, Hasan, Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal


We investigated the relationship between the emotional and behavioral traits and social skills of preschool children. The participants were 224 6-year-old children (115 female, 109 male). Data were collected using the Social Skills Evaluation Scale (Avcioglu, 2003) and the Preschool Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scale (Epstein, Synhorst, Cress, & Allen, 2009). Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients were determined. It was found that there was a positive relationship between interpersonal skills and emotional regulation, school readiness, social confidence, and family involvement. It was also found that there was a statistically significant positive relationship between verbal explanation, listening skills, and self-control and emotional regulation, school readiness, social confidence, and family involvement.

Keywords: social skills, preschool children, emotional traits, behavioral traits.

Experiences gained in the early years of life have an important role in me social development of a child, as in other areas of development (Çagdas, 1997; Çimen, 2009). The preschool period is critical in terms of the development of social skills (Çimen, 2009; Ekinci-Vural, 2006; Elibol-Giiltekin, 2008). This period is, therefore, of great importance for observing the behavior of children, supporting their development, and preventing potential problems (Alisinanoglu & Kesicioglu, 2010; Kargi & Erkan, 2004). Socializing refers to the process of acquiring the qualities that allow an individual to be a social and participating person (Mavi-Dervisoglu, 2007; Önder, 2005). Acquisition of social skills will have a positive impact on socialization. Socialized people are expected to use their social skills appropriately and regularly (Giilay & Akman, 2009; Sroufe, Cooper, DeHart, Marshall, & Bronfenbrenner, 1992). Being a member of society, being aware that one is a part of society, and fulfilling social responsibilities are possible because of the acquisition of the social skills necessary in social life (Hartup, 1992). Social skills have an important role in the success of family life, school life, and life in general. They are also important for an individual in establishing good relationships, undertaking responsibility for obeying social rules, helping other people, and using one's rights (Avcioglu, 2005; MaviDerviçoglu, 2007). Children's social skills also include tìieir behavior toward other children (Karaydmaz, 2008; Ladd, Kochenderfer, & Coleman, 1996). People with good social skills can be successful in all kinds of activities that require interaction witìi other people (Karaydmaz, 2008). Well-developed social skills have a determinative role in shaping an individual's social relationships. For example, they influence the behavior of a child toward his/her peers during the preschool period (Gülay, 2009). Emotions are important guides that affect social relationships, which have an important role in an individual's life (Bayhan & Artan, 2004; Karaydmaz, 2008). Emotional development forms the basis of social development, although emotional and social development refer to two closely related development areas (Alpan, 2006; Kandir & Alpan, 2008). Social and emotional development have significant roles in the development of a healmy personality and in establishing a positive interaction with the environment (Alpan, 2006; Aral, Baran, Bulat, & Çimen, 2001). Emotional development is influenced by all aspects of the development of an individual: social, behavioral, cognitive, and psychological (Ribes, Bisquerra, Agullo, Fuella, & Soldevilla, 2005).

The preschool period is of great importance for determining behavioral problems and taking the necessary measures to deal with them. If these problems are not identified at an early age they might give rise to serious problems in the future (Giilay & Akman, 2009; Mavi-Derviçoglu, 2007). Preschool teachers have a significant role in determining problem behavior (Alisinanoglu & Kesiciogiu, 2010). …

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