Socioemotional Development in the Toddler Years

Transitions and Transformations

Edited by Celia A. Brownell and Claire B. Kopp

HardcoverPaperbacke-bookprint + e-book
August 16, 2007
ISBN 9781593854966
Price: $113.00 $84.75
497 Pages
Size: 6⅛" x 9¼"
June 3, 2010
ISBN 9781606239469
Price: $53.00 $39.75
497 Pages
Size: 6⅛" x 9¼"
March 1, 2011
ePub ?
Price: $53.00 $39.75
497 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (ePub) ?
Price: $106.00 $58.30
497 Pages

This volume explores the key developmental transitions that take place as 1- to 3-year-olds leave infancy behind and begin to develop the social and emotional knowledge, skills, and regulatory abilities of early childhood. Leading investigators examine the multiple interacting factors that lead to socioemotional competence in this pivotal period, covering both typical and atypical development. Presented is innovative research that has yielded compelling insights into toddlers' relationships, emotions, play, communication, prosocial behavior, self-control, autonomy, and attempts to understand themselves and others. The final chapter presents a systematic framework for socioemotional assessment.

“Instructors in advanced seminars in development should find this book an attractive text....This is an excellent book. The authors collectively make a convincing case for the importance of toddlerhood in social and emotional development. The book provides a theoretically rich description of these children and what is on their minds.”


“This comprehensive book is highly recommended to graduate-level students, infant mental health professionals, and others from allied professions who seek to gain an in-depth understanding of social and emotional development during toddlerhood.”

Infant and Child Development

“This rich, detailed, well referenced book is of interest in its entirety to graduate students, academics, and researchers. The busy clinician is likely to use it as a reference book, or dip into several chapters to find descriptions and theories about the astoundingly complex, rapid, and inter-related development in the toddler period.”

Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

“Will give the reader a new appreciation for toddler accomplishments....Valuable overall for understanding the 'terrible twos.'...Recommended. Uppder-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals.”


“A 'must read.' Brownell and Kopp have assembled an international 'who's who' of eminent researchers to review such topics as the emerging self-system, self-regulatory processes, altruism and empathy, pretend play and peer interactions, and social communication. Of special interest are contributions on early toddler atypicality. This would be an excellent text for graduate-level seminars in early social, emotional, and personality development.”

—Kenneth H. Rubin, PhD, Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, University of Maryland, College Park

“The emotional development of the toddler is virtually unknown territory in research. Yet toddlerhood is a time of rapid and crucial emotional transitions that lay the basis for personality, education, and moral development. This superb volume from world leaders in the field provides the reader with a thorough understanding of this vast gap in our knowledge about emotion in toddlers. Developmentalists, educators, clinicians, and pediatricians alike will want this volume as a reference source and for its many intellectually provocative contributions.”

—Joseph J. Campos, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley

“Brownell and Kopp offer a unique window into a period of development that is frequently overlooked. It is clear from the range and depth of the chapters in this volume that many of the interlocking building blocks on which later development depends are emerging in the toddler years. Both experienced developmental scientists and students of development will benefit from this thorough and comprehensive examination of early emotion and social interaction processes.”

—Marion O’Brien, PhD, Director, Family Research Center, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

“This book brings together an impressive array of contributors to document and further our understanding of the rapid transitions that occur during the toddler years. It illuminates how the development of any particular socioemotional competency occurs within the context of codeveloping systems that interact over time. This is a book with a truly developmental perspective, in terms of both intrapersonal and interpersonal processes that shape behavior, feelings, and thought.”

—Joan Stevenson-Hinde, ScD, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK

“This first comprehensive volume on socioemotional development during toddlerhood, with its eminent cast of internationally acclaimed contributors, is an extraordinary gift to the field. The book’s clarifying, holistic vision of the toddler years, cutting-edge scholarship, expansive coverage, and readability make it an indispensable treasure trove of knowledge for researchers, teachers of early childhood courses, graduate students desiring to deepen their understanding of this vital period of change, and clinicians focusing on early prevention and treatment of developmental problems. A superbly conceived and edited text!”

—Laura E. Berk, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Illinois State University

Table of Contents

1. Transitions in Toddler Socioemotional Development: Behavior, Understanding, Relationships, Celia A. Brownell and Claire B. Kopp

I. Understanding Self and Others

2. Understanding Self and Others in the Second Year, Chris Moore

3. The Codevelopment of Self and Sociomoral Emotions During the Toddler Years, Michael F. Mascolo and Kurt W. Fischer

4. The Transformation of Prosocial Behavior from Infancy to Childhood, Dale F. Hay and Kaye V. Cook

5. The Origins of Empathic Morality in Toddlerhood, Martin L. Hoffman

II. Play and Communication

6. Pretend Play in Toddlers, Angeline Lillard

7. Children's Relationships with Other Children, Claire Hughes and Judy Dunn

8. Intentional Communication, Nameera Akhtar and Carmen Martínez-Sussmann

9. Becoming a Language User: Entering a Symbolic World, Katherine Nelson

10. Revisiting A Toddler's Life for The Toddler Years: Conversational Participation as a Tool for Learning across Knowledge Domains, Marilyn Shatz

III. Self-Regulation

11. The Emergence of Self-Regulation: Biological and Behavioral Control Mechanisms Supporting Toddler Competencies, Susan D. Calkins

12. Autonomy, Compliance, and Internalization, David R. Forman

13. Taming the Tempest in the Teapot: Emotion Regulation in Toddlers, Ross A. Thompson and Rebecca Goodvin

IV. Biological and Cultural Perspectives

14. The Cognitive Neuroscience of Early Socioemotional Development, Martha Ann Bell and Christy D. Wolfe

15. Biobehavioral Approaches to Early Socioemotional Development, Kristin A. Buss and H. Hill Goldsmith

16. The Sociocultural Context of Transitions in Early Socioemotional Development, Susan M. Perez and Mary Gauvain

V. Individual Differences and Applications

17. Social Relations, Self-Awareness, and Symbolizing: A Perspective from Autism, R. Peter Hobson

18. A Systemic Approach to Assessment of Normative and Atypical Socioemotional Function in Toddlers, Hiram E. Fitzgerald, Jessica Barnes, and Jason Almerigi

About the Editors

Celia A. Brownell, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, where she directs the Early Social Development Laboratory and has served as Chair of the Developmental Psychology Graduate Training Program and as Director of Graduate Studies. She has been a coinvestigator on the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development since its inception in 1990. Dr. Brownell is an associate editor of Infancy, the official journal of the International Society on Infant Studies. She has conducted research on social development of infants and toddlers for over 25 years.

Claire B. Kopp, PhD, until her death in 2019, was a developmental psychologist whose research interests focus primarily on the social and emotional development of young children, with particular emphasis on the development of regulatory processes. Her writings also addressed biosocial risk factors that adversely influence children’s development. Dr. Kopp published widely in these areas, with research funded by both federal and private agencies. She taught at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Claremont Graduate University, served as a source of developmental information for parenting magazines, and consulted with public and private agencies on early development.


Nameera Akhtar, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz, California

Jason Almerigi, PhD, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

Jessica Barnes, PhD, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

Martha Ann Bell, PhD, Department of Psychology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia

Celia A. Brownell, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Kristin A. Buss, PhD, Department of Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

Susan D. Calkins, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, North Carolina

Kaye V. Cook, PhD, Department of Psychology, Gordon College, Wenham, Massachusetts

Judy Dunn, PhD, Social, Genetic, and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, United Kingdom

Kurt W. Fischer, PhD, Department of Psychology and Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Hiram E. Fitzgerald, PhD, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

David R. Forman, PhD, Department of Psychology, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Mary Gauvain, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of California, Riverside, California

H. Hill Goldsmith, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin

Rebecca Goodvin, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska

Dale F. Hay, PhD, School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom

R. Peter Hobson, PhD, Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, United Kingdom

Martin L. Hoffman, PhD, Department of Psychology, New York University, New York, New York

Claire Hughes, PhD, Centre for Family Research, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Claire B. Kopp, PhD, private practice, Los Angeles, California

Angeline Lillard, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Carmen Martínez-Sussmann, MS, Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz, California

Michael F. Mascolo, PhD, Department of Psychology, Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts

Chris Moore, PhD, Department of Psychology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Katherine Nelson, PhD, Department of Psychology, City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York

Susan M. Perez, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida

Marilyn Shatz, PhD, Departments of Psychology and Linguistics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Ross A. Thompson, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, California

Christy D. Wolfe, PhD, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky


Developmental psychologists; early childhood education researchers and professionals; students in these areas. Also of interest to mental health clinicians working with young children and their families.

Course Use

May serve as a text in graduate-level courses in social development or early childhood development.