Research Findings: Children’s readiness to handle the expectations of elementary school depends heavily on their self-regulation skills. Self-regulation includes both cognitive and behavioral elements; however, past studies have typically looked at cognitive and behavioral self-regulation in isolation or as a composite score rather than examining self-regulation profiles. Conceptually, a profile characterized by pervasive cognitive and behavioral self-regulation difficulties may have different developmental roots than a profile limited to behavioral regulation difficulties and children displaying these different profiles likely require different intervention supports. In the current study, latent profile analysis with cognitive and behavioral self-regulation indicators revealed four unique self-regulation profiles for preschool children (N=566): Pervasive Dysregulation (cognitively and behaviorally dysregulated), Behavioral Dysregulation (behaviorally dysregulated only), Average Self-Regulation, and High Self-Regulation. Practice or Policy: Latent moderational analyses indicated that while both the Pervasive and Behavioral Dysregulation group were at increased risk for less desirable kindergarten and 2nd grade outcomes, this risk was offset to a greater extant for children from the Behavioral Dysregulation profile when they experienced a close, non-conflictual teacher-student relationship in preschool. Ultimately, high-quality teacher-student relationships may be effective for supporting children who present behavioral challenges without cognitive self-regulatory challenges, but pervasively dysregulated children may require more intensive support.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology