Growth of social competence during the preschool years: A 3-year longitudinal study

António J. Santos, Brian E. Vaughn, Iněs Peceguina, João R. Daniel, Nana Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This study examined the stability and growth over a 3-year period of individual differences in preschool children's social competence, which was assessed in three domains: social engagement/motivation, profiles of behavior and personality attributes characteristic of socially competent young children, and peer acceptance. A total of 255 children (126 girls and 129 boys) participated in this study. Growth curve analyses demonstrated both stability and change with regard to social competence over early childhood. Social competence measures and latent variables were invariant over this time period, individual differences in social competence were largely stable from year to year, and significant increases over time were observed for the domain most closely reflective of specific personal attributes skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2062-2073
Number of pages12
JournalChild Development
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 The Authors. Child Development © 2014 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.


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