Skip Navigation

HHS HealthBeat (March 14, 2013)

Less-angry preschoolers


Child sits in timeout on the stairs

Take the Next Step
Help Your Child

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A study indicates that kids who can use words better as toddlers are more likely to be able to control anger when they’re preschoolers. At Penn State, researcher Pamela Cole saw this in data on 120 kids who were followed from 18 months to 48 months of age.

The toddlers whose language was better, and developed more quickly over time, tended to control the frustration of waiting better as preschoolers, doing things like playing to take their minds off of the gift they were waiting for.

Cole advises talking a lot with toddlers:

“Toddlers, even when they are not speaking or they don’t appear to understand, may be overhearing things and picking up a lot of information.”

The study in the journal Child Development was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: March 21, 2013