Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Sharon Kingston




Research suggests that language ability and emotion regulation are positively related to social competence in preschool children. This study examines how these relationships function in early elementary school, and explores the role of language ability as a partial mediator between emotion regulation and social competence. Second-grade students (N = 67) completed an assessment of receptive vocabulary, and classroom teachers completed ratings on emotion regulation and social skills. Results show strong relationships between emotion regulation skills and social competence and between language skills and aspects of social competence. There were gender differences in the strength of the relationships between these variables; the relationships were stronger for girls than boys. However, language did not mediate the relationship between emotion regulation and social competence. Additional research should contrast the changing role of language skills in the development and expression of social competence as children mature from preschoolers to early elementary school students and further investigate gender differences in the relationships between these constructs.


Additional Reading

After graduating from Dickinson, this thesis was used as the basis for an article written by W. John Monopoli and Sharon Kingston, published by the International Journal of Behavioral Development in 2012.

Monopoli, W. John, & Kingston, S. (2012). The relationships among language ability, emotional regulation, and social competence in second-grade students. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 36(5), 398-404.

Included in

Psychology Commons