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Assignment 2: Child Observation Report

1. Introduction (150 words)

2. Area of interest and observational questions (300-500 words)

3. Methodsthis section requires references (300-500 words)

4. Observations and Interpretations (500-800 words)

5. Conclusion/Summary- this section requires references (300-500 words)


Child Observation Report

   Introduction:- In every social setting, what is appropriate and expected out of individuals to behave involves a host of interconnected processes from evaluating social situations,  recognizing feelings of selves and others and reacting appropriately (Kashdan et al., 2013). Thus, it is crucial to study social competence in children as it gives us the impetus to predict interpersonal relationships and social functioning (Wang, 2017). Social skill, which refers to discrete behaviours, is encompassed within a broader definition of social competence and related to several positive outcomes including achieving personal goals in social contexts (Morrison, 2020). In the context of children, deficits in social competence are evident in developmental delay, autism spectrum disorder, emotional or behavioural issues (Kauffman, 2005).

   Observation set 2 has been chosen to carry out this project, featuring Lauren who was 22 months old at the time the video was recorded. She is seen interacting with caretakers and peers in different social settings. Children at 22 months are typically able to use a few words in their speech and are often able to create short, simple sentences. They still often rely on non-verbal behaviours such as pointing and nodding, which is a common observation for Lauren across the videos provided in observation set 2. A detailed observation is carried out systematically to understand social competence in different contexts in family daycare settings.

Area Of Interest And Observational Questions:-

              Social competence involves forming connections to others in case of young children comprises social skill sets which leads the person to befriend being assertive to firmly express one’s need, working through disagreement, negotiating when it is necessitated and forming connections with significant others (Rakoczy et al., 2021). Involving in meaningful interaction and efficient social activities with others is a sign of socially competent children which predicts the future wellbeing of children (Coombes et al., 2011). So, researchers have begun the study of social competence a long time ago.

   Researchers have discussed social competence in various ways. Understanding social competence in children is an interconnected phenomenon involving the acquisition of social values, forming a sense of identity, assuming interpersonal skills and regulations of societal expectations, planning and judgment making (Cruz, 2019). Crucial aspects of social competence that are linked with self-expression and social interaction are: –

  • Self-Regulation:- Human beings are goal-oriented. So, controlling one’s thoughts, emotions and behaviours becomes an integral part of our life. Self-regulation also involves not engaging in disruptive behaviours so that we are able to function effectively in social interactions (Kashdan et al., 2013). Self-regulation in kids (in play and other forms of interactions with caregivers, peers and other adults) considerably contributes to long term social competence (Coombes et al., 2011).
  • Interpersonal knowledge and skills:- Interpersonal proficiency is an important social skill that needs to develop appropriately in order for humans to interact with others by recognizing their necessities. Interpersonal mastery helps children to interact and make effective and lasting relationships with significant others (Morrison, 2020).

This observation report of Lauren deals with two important observational questions, which are:-

Question 1:- Can Lauren express herself in social situations?

 This will help to measure Lauren’s social competence, as the ability to achieve the personal goal (self-expression), in social dealings.

Question 2:- Can Lauren form relationships with others in social circumstances?

This will help to measure social competence as the capacity to have social relationships with friends or caregivers.

Through measuring self-expression and interpersonal connections with others in social circumstances, inferences about social competence of Lauren will be drawn.

Methods:- Two qualitative and one quantitative method to observe the specific behaviour of Lauren. The qualitative methods are anecdotal records and event sampling. The quantitative method is frequency counts.

Anecdotal Records:- Anecdotal record is a qualitative data gathering procedure based on observation. Researchers use anecdotal records to document the random behaviours of a child. It can be useful to list behaviours with minute facts as extensively as probable rather than recording specific behaviours.

        After documenting, the researcher transcribes the data into objective data as much as possible. There exist two kinds of anecdotal documents (Vist, 2018). They are:-

  • Live Anecdote:- In the case of live anecdotal record the researcher tries to jot down the data when the circumstance occurs.
  • Remembered Anecdote:- In the case of remembered anecdotal reports, the researcher gathers data after the event in the past tense (Vist, 2018).

Strengths Of Anecdotal Record:-

  • Researchers can easily collect data with the help of paper and pen.
  • An anecdotal record is an open-ended tool. So, the observer can record any kind of behaviour of the child.
  • The method helps the observer to track the behaviours of the child in various conditions. Thus, it helps to draw a pattern of the child’s behaviours.

Weaknesses Of Anecdotal Record:-

  • An anecdotal document is a time-consuming process.
  • The observer may miss specific kinds of behaviour while recording.
  • The cognitive bias of the observer can hamper the recording (Vist, 2018).

Event Sampling: – Event sampling is a qualitative method. It helps the researcher to count the frequency of a certain behaviour event. So, it cannot depict the cause of a behaviour. Researchers use event Sampling to observe specific behaviours like aggressive behaviour, quarrel, attention-seeking, bouts of crying or comfort-seeking, and meaningful interaction with peers in children (Sinclair et al., 2013).

Event sampling helps to track the self-expression and interpersonal relationships of Lauren in social situations.

Strengths Of Event Sampling:-

  • Helps to track the specific behaviour of a child.
  • The researcher can not miss the targeted behaviour.
  • Provides different facets of a particular behaviour.

Weaknesses Of Event Sampling:-

  • The researcher may find it difficult to anticipate a specific behaviour.
  • The Researcher can overestimate behaviour (Sinclair et al., 2013).

Frequency Counts:- Frequency counts is a quantitative method. It helps to collect the frequency of a particular behaviour.

Strengths Of Frequency Counts-

  • Helps to record the frequency of certain movements and behaviours.
  • Make a straightforward estimation of data.

Weaknesses Of Frequency Counts:-

  • The researcher can miss the behaviour in a typical situation (Sinclair et al., 2013).

Observations And Interpretations:-

Observation Through Event Sampling :-

A-B-C of Lauren’s target behaviour- Expression of personal need

When asked about what she needs (Video-1)(pointing to oranges)Fulfilment of need- got orange
When the caretaker was asking her if she wanted to cuddle with the baby and get a good night’s sleep (Video-1)(Expressed need for reading books)Fulfilment of need- caretaker promises that she can read books at bed-time
While pouring mint tea (Video-2)(Asked for more mint tea)Fulfilment of need- gets more mint tea

Observations Through Frequency Counts:-

Instance  Target Behaviour
Expression of needNoddingPointing
What would you like to have? 
Would you like to hold your baby?  
Go get a cuddle with your dummy.  
Going to have lunch..yeah?  
We will go and have a good night’s sleep..yes?  
Would you like to get your baby to cuddle?  
Shall we go on and find your baby?  
Is it outside? Can you show me where it is?  
Where is it?  
Do you feel much better now?  
You love your baby and you like your dummy too?  
You’ll have a little bit of quiet time, yes?  
Do you want to read a book?  
Shall we go on and read a book?  
(Peer) That’s for you?  
Not too much water.  
(Again) Not too much water.  
I want more mint tea  
Did you finish drying your hands?  
Find your towel  

Observation Through Anecdotal Record:-

Lauren seems to respond by nodding when interacting in a social setting. Instances of nodding include saying yes as well as communicating to the speaker that she gets what others were saying.

Lauren also pointed to the things when the situation demanded so. 1st, was when she pointed towards the orange on being asked what she wanted. Secondly, she helped her caretaker to find her toy when caretakers said “…shall we find” by pointing towards it. Lastly, it was when the caretaker said to find her towel in the last video, and she pointed towards her towel to wipe her hands.


Concerning question no. 1: “Can Lauren express herself in social situations? “; Lauren’s social competence is measured as the ability to achieve personal goals in social dealings. Event sampling using ABC record, showed expression of need by Lauren always accompanied with the desired outcome.

Concerning question 2, “Can Lauren form relationships with others in social circumstances ?”, which measures how adequately Lauren responds to social cues through pointing and nodding. Lauren nods as “yes” to answer as well as conveying that she understood what the speaker is trying to convey.

In line with the theoretical model of Affective social competence, Lauren’s target behaviour, i.e., expression of need, seems to fulfil the components of the ASC model, which includes sending affective messages, receiving affective messages and experiencing desirable effects.

In conversation with her caretaker, she seems to be aware of her need and convey appropriately the same, which in turn results in the desired goal. The dialogues between Lauren and her friend also had instances of effective sending and receiving of messages.

Lauren displayed the appropriate non-verbal responses (nodding/pointing) to social prompts. This indicates the understanding of the social context.

Her social interaction in three different settings assumes that goal can be accomplished through dialogue and interpersonal communication with another person using both verbal and non-verbal responses.

Conclusion:- In the 1st video, Lauren seemed to be quite tired and was thus being soothed by her caretaker in her lap. Dialogues between Lauren and her caretaker seem to be coherent indicating what they were planning to do at bedtime.

In the second video, Lauren was seen chatting with her friend and enjoying mint tea.  Conversation exchanges between them showed how Lauren actively listens and reciprocates. However, initiations of dialogue from Lauren was comparatively less than her friend.

In the last video, Lauren is seen washing her hands with the help of her caretaker. Here too Lauren made appropriate responses.

In none of the cases, Lauren is seen engaging in disruptive entry to play or activities, nor are there instances of problematic behaviour or poor turn-taking skills, indicating good self-regulation on her part.

The interpersonal social performance of Lauren with adults (caretaker) and peers in her social environment over time and across settings, covering social interaction in 3 different settings assume that goal can be accomplished through dialogue and interpersonal communication with another person using both verbal and non-verbal responses.Social competence is an important indicator of social and interpersonal relationships and the fulfilment of personal goals in a social context. Deficits in social competence can result in poor functioning in interpersonal relationships, social skills, self-expression and understanding of others (Vist, 2018). Lauren seems to be quite competent in her social skills in different areas which not only help her to get what she deserves but also allow her opportunities to build relationships with her caregiver and with others around her.

                 Understanding social competence becomes crucial to take appropriate steps and gauge progress concerning their typical peers. Moreover, young children who are not adequately socially competent may suffer from high rates of social denial, including social withdrawal and refusal of play initiations, thus further preventing honing of social skills within the broad domain of social competence (Rakoczy et al., 2021).


Coombes, L., Appleton, J., Allen, D., & Yerrell, P. (2011). Emotional Health and Well-being in Schools: Involving Young People. Children & Society27(3), 220-232.

Cruz, J. (2019). LOCAL GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL INTERPERSONAL COMPETENCE AND SOCIAL SKILLS. International Journal Of Advanced Research7(7), 1027-1033.

Kashdan, T., Sherman, R., Yarbro, J., & Funder, D. (2013). How Are Curious People Viewed and How Do They Behave in Social Situations? From the Perspectives of Self, Friends, Parents, and Unacquainted Observers. Journal Of Personality81(2), 142-154.

Kauffman, J. (2005). Cases in emotional and behavioral disorders of children and youth. Pearson/Merrill Prentice Hall.

Morrison, J. (2020). Achieving Broadened Accountability in Nonprofit Governance Through Social Competence Within a Community of Practice. SSRN Electronic Journal.

Rakoczy, H., Miosga, N., & Schultze, T. (2021). Young children evaluate and follow others’ arguments when forming and revising beliefs. Social Development.

Sinclair, R., Wang, M., & Tetrick, L. (2013). Research methods in occupational health psychology. Routledge.

Vist, T. (2018). Toddler Encounters as Aesthetic Interviews? Discussing an Arts-Based Data Gathering. Qualitative Inquiry25(7), 604-614.

Wang, S. (2017). Study of Metaphorical Competence in Chinese-speaking Children with High-functioning Autism. Destech Transactions On Social Science, Education And Human Science, (mess).

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