Self-recognition emerges during the second year of life and represents the emergence of a reflective self, a metacognition which underlies self-conscious emotions such as embarrassment and shame, perspective taking, and emotional knowledge of others. In a longitudinal study of 171 children, two major questions were explored from an extant database: 1) Do early factors, including IQ, general environmental risk, mother-child attachment interaction, drug exposure, gender, and neonatal risk, relate to self-recognition?; 2) Does self-recognition, along with these earlier factors, predict the child’s subsequent emotional knowledge? Consistent with previous data, 39% of children exhibited self-recognition by 18-months and few early factors explored were related to this ability. Moreover, path analysis revealed few effects of the earlier factors predicting self-recognition on children’s emotional knowledge. Self-recognition did predict emotional knowledge at 4.5 years, such that children who showed early self-recognition showed greater emotional knowledge. Children from high risk environments also showed lower emotional knowledge. These findings indicate that self-recognition and environmental risk are related to children’s later knowledge of emotions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Cognitive Development
- Emotion Recognition
- Facial Expression
- Typical Development