British Journal of Developmental Psychology

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Volume 23 Issue 4 (November 2005), Pages 487-660

Development of the Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale for Children (LEAS‐C) (pages 569-586)

A performance‐based assessment of the structure and complexity of emotional awareness was developed, the Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale for Children (LEAS‐C). A pilot study (N=6, ages 9–12, Mage=10.2 years) was conducted to construct, trial, and select scenarios suitable for the scale. A larger validity study (N=51, ages 10–11, Mage=10.3 years) examined the relationship between the LEAS‐C and two emotion knowledge tasks: emotion expressions and emotion comprehension; two verbal tasks: vocabulary and verbal productivity; and a cognitive developmental measure: the Parental Descriptions Scale (PDS). Gender differences in LEAS‐C performance were also examined. The LEAS‐C was significantly related to emotion comprehension, and the verbal tasks. Consistent with adult studies, females reported significantly higher LEAS‐C scores compared with males. Gender effects remained when controlling for the two verbal tasks. Preliminary support for the validity of the LEAS‐C as an objective assessment of emotional complexity in children is found in this study. Results also suggest that gender differences in emotional awareness occur at a young age.

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