The literature concerning SED against the background of child maltreatment is not vastly abundant. However, it still covers a number of major aspects associated with it. As socioemotional development is closely correlated with emotional processing, a number of studies have focused on the assessment of maltreated children’s bias toward faces exhibiting negative emotions.
This is one way that the researchers take in approaching the socioemotional implications of maltreated children. Another way to approach it is in the way Palmer et al. did in their study, focusing on determining stress-defining factors in infants. This article utilizes the Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (BITSEA) as a tool for mothers to compile a report on the socio-emotional development of their children.
The questionnaire is designed to ensure the inclusion of all the major factors in a disproportional socioemotional development. BITSEA is a shorted form of ITSEA, containing 42 items instead of 169. It focuses on the areas of “internalizing, externalizing, dysregulation, competence and social relatedness, atypical behaviors, and maladaptive.”
A caretaker fills out the questionnaire giving each item a rating from 1 to 4 based on their child’s socioemotional behavior – the results get validated by repeating the test after some time. As one can see, socioemotional development has been previously studied not as extensively as it should be, and the main methods include tests with visual stimuli or parent reports like BITSEA.