Early language skills help kids manage anger better
New York: The ability to use words as a toddler may affect the way kids manage their anger later in life, a new study has found.
Children with good language skills at age 2 expressed less anger during frustrating situations at age 4 than those with less advanced language skills, researchers said.
According to the study findings, children whose language skills developed quickly also expressed less anger at age 4.
While previous research suggested a link between language skills and the expression of anger in young children, few studies had followed children over time, `LiveScience` reported.
The study followed 120 children from 18 months old until they were 4.
Children periodically underwent tests that assessed their language skills and their ability to cope with frustrating tasks.
One task asked children to wait for eight minutes before opening a present while their mother finished work.
Two aspects of language appeared to help children rein in their anger. First, more-developed language skills allowed kids to ask for support from their parents during a frustrating situation.
Children also used language to occupy or distract themselves from becoming angry, the report said.
"Better language skills may help children verbalise rather than use emotions to convey needs and use their imaginations to occupy themselves while enduring a frustrating wait," said researcher Pamela Cole from Pennsylvania State University.
The study was published in the journal Child Development.