I am writing stories about emotions for children age 5-10. I would like to use emotions that are relevant to children's emotional development in that range. For example, I heard from discussions with psychologists that shame is a learned emotion around age 7. If that's true, I prefer not to include it in my stories.

To know which emotions or feelings to include, I thought of the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, a validated and benchmarked tool that lets researchers make statements such as "70% of children of age 4 know the word 'boat'".

Does a similar list exist for emotions, validated by age of children?

  • 1
    What are you looking for in a list of emotions? Emotions that the child should be able to name? Or just have access to? Also, heads up with using clinical tests for self assessment, you risk ruining their clinical use. The benchmarking, which seems to be what you're after, makes the assumption that the test subjects have not practiced that exact list.
    – user36162
    Jul 21, 2020 at 10:56
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    Also re: benchmarking, I'll throw in a bit of a frame challenge. From a parenting point of view, I'd argue it's rarely too early or too late to teach anything. Just follow along with the development of your child. The question of what is adequate for a given age seems to me to be a concern best left to the clinicians.
    – user36162
    Jul 21, 2020 at 11:03
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    I think this is a valid question. At two my son would step on lady bugs. When i explained that he should not do that, that these are living creatures and they are also useful because the eat lice, he said: but if we dont have lice i can step on them. At four he asked what the cat was doing in the garden, i said 'Probably trying to catch a bird'. He was shocked! 'The police will put him in jail' he was hoping. Emotional development is very interesting.
    – Ivana
    Jul 23, 2020 at 21:05
  • @dxh I am looking for emotions to include in stories of children aged 5-10, and I updated the question. Jul 24, 2020 at 15:40
  • 1
    Is this a parenting question?
    – rando
    May 24, 2023 at 17:17


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