Ada Cigala, Elena Venturelli

The social referencing phenomenon

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: emotional regulation, social referencing, emotional development, family interactions, emotional competence.

The aim of the review is to define the state of the research on the phenomenon of social referencing, i.e. the emotional communication between the caregiver and the child which provides important information about ambiguous events and interactions, and helps regulate her/his behaviour. In particular, this review considered three main aspects: research that have been focused on the main characteristics of this phenomenon (referent, referee, refer), an examination of some peculiar dimensions (flexibility, expressive channels, and meaning of adults' expression) and a presentation of some unanswered questions. The review of the literature shows, on the one hand, the complexity of the indices studied and, on the other, a lack of research examining the spontaneous form of social referencing.

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