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Children's Social Sensitivity and the Relationship to Interpersonal Competence, Intrapersonal Comfort and Intellectual Level

Rothenberg, Barbara B.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Child Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Interpersonal Competence, Social Behavior


A method of measuring children's social sensitivity is described and the relationship between social sensitivity and certain variables hypothesized as important in its development is investigated. Using a series of four tape recordings depicting two adults in happy, angry, anxious, and sad interactions, social sensitivity was assessed in third and fifth grade children. Age, intellectual ability and interpersonal adjustment contributed most to the development of accurate social perceptions. Surprisingly, there were no significant effects on social sensitivity due to sex, ordinal position, or size of family.

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