A number of studies shows the role of emotions in psycho-educational processes during childhood, as well as the importance of emotional variables in social interactions in school context. One of the major contributions to emotional domains in childhood is the model of Emotional Competence (EC) developed by Saarni. EC, which includes one's self, one's moral disposition, and one's developmental history, is crucial to children’s ability to interact and form relationships with others, and develops from 3 to 6 years of age. In Italy, there is a growing interest towards affective education in schools. However, it is rather difficult toidentify common operationalization and intervention protocols. The aim of this study is to test a psycho-educational intervention fostering the development of EC (expression, understanding and regulation of emotions) in pre-scholars. The Test of Emotion Comprehension (TEC), a nonverbal and cross-cultural tool, provides a global index of emotion comprehension in children aged from 3 to 11, assessing nine domains of emotional understanding (e.g., the recognition of emotions, possibility of emotional regulation; having mixed emotions). This instrument was administered individually to 55 children (32 female) aged between 4 and 6 years (M = 4.4, SD = .71), recruited in three different public schools involved in a three-months psycho-educational intervention based on storytelling and drama. The TEC was administrated before the intervention started and after its conclusion. Results of repeated measure ANOVA show an improvement of TEC scores from baseline to 3 months (F = 48.43, p < .000; Mt1 = 3.61 and Mt2 = 4.49), with no differences between boys and girls (interaction time x sex: F = .32, p = n.s.). As for practical implications, the present study points out that early psycho-educational programs, based on storytelling and drama, may have the potential to exert a positive influence on kindergarten children’s Emotional Competence.
|Number of pages||2|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|