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Delay of Gratification in Children

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Abstract

To function effectively, individuals must voluntarily postpone immediate gratification and persist in goal-directed behavior for the sake of later outcomes. The present research program analyzed the nature of this type of future-oriented self-control and the psychological processes that underlie it. Enduring individual differences in self-control were found as early as the preschool years. Those 4-year-old children who delayed gratification longer in certain laboratory situations developed into more cognitively and socially competent adolescents, achieving higher scholastic performance and coping better with frustration and stress. Experiments in the same research program also identified specific cognitive and attentional processes that allow effective self-regulation early in the course of development. The experimental results, in turn, specified the particular types of preschool delay situations diagnostic for predicting aspects of cognitive and social competence later in life.
... La ejecución de los niños en las tareas de mantenimiento se relaciona con el desarrollo de distintas habilidades en etapas posteriores. Los niños que presentan mayor habilidad de demora de la gratificación presentan mayores niveles de inteligencia, resiliencia, inhibición y control cognitivo, desarrollo de competencias sociales y académicas, así como habilidad para la consecución de metas en la adolescencia; mientras que en la adultez muestran mayor desempeño académico, inteligencia, autoestima, conductas de motivación y orientadas a metas, entre otras (Drobetz et al., 2012;Gollner et al., 2018;Reynolds et al., 2002;Mischel et al., 1989). Asimismo, la medida resulta un predictor del desarrollo de mejores estrategias de afrontamiento para la frustración y el estrés en etapas posteriores (Drobetz et al., 2012;Gollner et al., 2018;Forstmeier et al., 2011;Mischel et al., 1989). ...
... Los niños que presentan mayor habilidad de demora de la gratificación presentan mayores niveles de inteligencia, resiliencia, inhibición y control cognitivo, desarrollo de competencias sociales y académicas, así como habilidad para la consecución de metas en la adolescencia; mientras que en la adultez muestran mayor desempeño académico, inteligencia, autoestima, conductas de motivación y orientadas a metas, entre otras (Drobetz et al., 2012;Gollner et al., 2018;Reynolds et al., 2002;Mischel et al., 1989). Asimismo, la medida resulta un predictor del desarrollo de mejores estrategias de afrontamiento para la frustración y el estrés en etapas posteriores (Drobetz et al., 2012;Gollner et al., 2018;Forstmeier et al., 2011;Mischel et al., 1989). No obstante, es importante recordar que algunas de estas asociaciones se encuentran mediadas por variables como la familia, el sustento económico y el nivel educacional de los padres (Susini et al., 2021). ...
... Por otro lado, los niños que presentan menores habilidades para demorar la gratificación tienen mayor riesgo de padecer diferentes problemáticas en un ISBN: 9788436277142 Título: Aproximaciones al estudio del comportamiento y sus aplicaciones, vol. III Autores: Pérez Fernández, Vicente Jesús Material descargado desde LibrosUNED.com futuro, incluyendo conducta antisocial, adicciones o sobrepeso (Schlam et al., 2013;Göllner et al., 2018;Mischel et al., 1989;Schlam et al., 2013). ...
Chapter
El descuento temporal o descuento por demora constituye una variable ampliamente estudiada. En términos concretos, la idea detrás del fenómeno en cuestión es que el tiempo entre una conducta y sus consecuencias influye en las decisiones de las personas, propiciando que en algunos casos sea la inmediatez de las alternativas, y no la magnitud de consecuencias demoradas, la que influya las decisiones. En el escenario opuesto, las variables que reducen el descuento constituyen condiciones que posibilitan decisiones sensibles a la mayor magnitud de las consecuencias, aunque estén demoradas, esto es, permiten tomar decisiones autocontroladas. Dicho fenómeno ha sido documentado extensa-mente con relación a situaciones presentes en la vida adulta, pero poco se ha estudiado con niños. Consecuentemente, poco se conoce sobre las variables que en principio permiten a las personas desarrollar la capacidad de preferir consecuencias futuras. Históricamente, cuando se ha estudiado el autocontrol en el caso de niños, se ha recurrido a un procedimiento denominado tarea de mantenimiento, una tarea experimental distinta a la empleada para medir descuento por demora. La primera suele indicar la duración máxima en la que los niños son capaces de mantener su preferencia por una recompensa. La segunda tarea suele reflejar el grado en el que una consecuencia pierde su valor en función del tiempo.
... The marshmallow test is often used to test the emotional suppression function of EF (Mischel et al., 1989). Similarly, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children's (WISC-IV) Working Memory Index (WMI) task has been used for thought suppression, and the abacus task is possible (Watanabe, 2021). ...
... The marshmallow test is rooted in a psychological experiment on children's perseverance developed by Mischel et al. (1989). The experiment results have been used to predict children's future success (Mischel et al., 1988;Shoda et al., 1990;Michaelson and Munakata, 2020). ...
... The Value of Learning the Marshmallow Test I examined whether the marshmallow test itself has any learning value. To recall, the marshmallow test is a test to determine whether a child can persevere over a short period in the hope of a reward (Mischel et al., 1989). Thus, this test places a burden of patience on its participants, although not beyond the scope needed for a psychological experiment. ...
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Executive function (EF) development is an important part of infancy and childhood, promoting success in later life. Developing targeted methods is desirable to enable EF. There is an urgent need for easily implementable proposals to ameliorate educational disparities between income groups. EF is a skill that its possessor can use to inhibit thoughts and emotions. There is a relationship between EF and the prefrontal cortex. The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children’s (WISC-IV) Working Memory Index (WMI) task for thinking and the marshmallow test for emotions have been used to measure EF, but these tests themselves carry a load of inhibitions. Therefore, we can assume a natural value in learning to improve on the test. The marshmallow test does not require parental expertise in preparation or implementation, and it entails little financial burden. If there is a potential value in learning how to do better on the test, it will be easy for parents in low-income families to help their children improve. I examined whether the marshmallow test itself can support EF. Measurements of brain activity in the prefrontal cortex over 8 days showed that the marshmallow test was more active than the WMI task or the abacus task. Therefore, the results suggest that continued use of the marshmallow test can support EF even in low-income families.
... Theories of self-efficacy (Bandura 1978) and delayed gratification (Mischel, Shoda, and Rodriguez 1989) trace their substantive and empirical roots to education; however, they have profoundly affected many applied fields, particularly marketing. Similarly, statistical techniques such as latent class analysis (Lanza and Cooper 2016) and data envelopment analysis (Charnes and Cooper 1984) were developed within education contexts. ...
... Plusieurs études ont démontré le pouvoir de la distanciation psychologique pour accroître le délai de gratification (Mischel & Rodriguez, 1993 ;Mischel, Shoda & Rodriguez, 1989). Par exemple, les enfants à qui on indiquait de se concentrer sur les caractéristiques froides des récompenses (e.g., Si tu veux, quand tu veux, tu peux penser à la façon dont les marshmallows ressemblent à des nuages gonflés et blancs) attendaient deux fois plus longtemps que ceux incités à se cantonner à leurs caractéristiques chaudes (e.g., Si tu veux, quand tu veux, tu peux penser au goût sucré et au moelleux des marshmallows, Mischel & Baker, 1975). ...
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Nous présentons ici la traduction d’un texte sur les aspects développementaux de la fonction exécutive chez les enfants typiques et atypiques. Il s’agit d’une synthèse, assez unique en son genre. En effet, s’appuyant sur l’expérience clinique et la recherche (plus de 400 références expérimentales), elle privilégie une approche qui intègre la multiplicité des niveaux d’analyse en abordant notamment les phénomènes de la plasticité cérébrale et les influences multiples intervenant dans le développement des fonctions exécutives. Les auteurs abordent également les influences dynamiques réciproques des processus et des contextes (notamment familial et scolaire), sans oublier les implications possibles dans le domaine de l’éducation. Ce chapitre, rédigé par des chercheurs de pointe en psychologie du développement, présente donc un intérêt majeur pour les professionnels de l’enfance, pédopsychiatres, pédiatres, psychologues et neuropsychologues, rééducateurs (psychomotriciens, orthophonistes, ergothérapeutes ou thérapeutes occupationnels), infirmiers, éducateurs et enseignants (voire les parents informés). Mais ces aspects de la trajectoire développementale jettent un éclairage singulier sur la psychopathologie adulte, ce qui n’est pas sans intérêt pour la psychiatrie. Comme le rappelait encore tout récemment Adele Diamond (2016), les fonctions exécutives sont des facteurs clés qui prédisent la réussite à l’école et la réussite professionnelle, bien mieux que le QI : la prise en compte de la trajectoire développementale des composantes de la fonction exécutive d’un individu permettra de spécifier et d’optimiser les thérapeutiques, de favoriser une prévention optimale des troubles psychosociaux psychiatriques et développementaux, d’assurer une meilleure qualité des apprentissages réalisés par les enfants. Par ailleurs, de plus en plus d’équipes oeuvrent au développement de techniques et de programmes de remédiation cognitive, susceptibles de promouvoir le rétablissement (Franck, 2016 ; Giraud-Barod & Roussel, 2012) des patients en souffrance psychique. Ces programmes validés ne sont pas des procédures standard d’application indifférenciée mais doivent s’accorder avec les attentes, les points forts et les faiblesses du sujet qui s’y engage et vis-à-vis du contexte dans lequel il vit. Il s’agit de rendre au patient la capacité d’agir, d’être et de trouver un équilibre physique et mental dans son milieu. « Les techniques de remédiation cognitive ont pris une place centrale, incontournable au sein des techniques classiques de réhabilitation psychosociale » (Giraud-Baro & Roussel, 2012). Elles visent des processus neuropsychologiques extrêmement subtils et notamment les fonctions exécutives, indispensables à la réalisation des comportements adaptés aux situations nouvelles. Elles sous-tendent la capacité de se reconnaître être humain à part entière parmi les autres, doté et responsable d’un réel pouvoir de compréhension, de décision, d’action et d’échange. Un des premiers programmes est le CRT, pour Cognitive Remediation Therapy ou thérapie par remédiation cognitive, dont les versions initiales australiennes cherchaient à lutter contre les conséquences délétères des lésions cérébrales chez l’enfant (Frontal/executive program, Delahunty et al., 1993). Développé par T. Wykes et C. Reeder en Grande-Bretagne dans le domaine de la schizophrénie (2002), il a été traduit et validé en français par l’équipe du Professeur Nicolas Franck (2009). Depuis, l’alliance de cliniciens et de chercheurs permet d’adapter ou d’utiliser ce programme (et bien d’autres), de type crayon-papier, avec des enfants ou des adolescents présentant un TSA, un TDA/H, un trouble des apprentissages non verbaux, du contrôle de soi, des troubles des conduites ou une anorexie (i.e., Doyen, 20127 ; Doyen et al., 2015 ; Lapasset et al., 2013). De nouveaux programmes sont en cours de développement, y compris dans le cadre d’une déficience intellectuelle et peuvent combiner les approches informatisée et crayon papier (Cognitus et moi, Demily et al., 2016), mais tous tirent profit de l’affinement des connaissances sur la nature et le rôle des fonctions exécutives, y compris dans le domaine des relations sociales et affectives. Bien qu’il y ait un intérêt considérable pour ces dernières et de nombreuses recherches, nous ne disposions d’aucune synthèse complète en langue française, notamment sur le développement du fonctionnement exécutif et les facteurs qui l’influencent. Nous remercions donc le professeur Nicolas Franck de nous avoir permis de collaborer pour réviser la première traduction de Jérôme Alain Lapasset (psychomotricien en pédopsychiatrie après l’avoir été en psychiatrie, et praticien en remédiation cognitive) du chapitre des professeurs Stephanie Carlson, Philip David Zelazo et Susan Faja. Au fur et à mesure, nous est apparue la portée de l’enjeu. Comprendre le développement (typique et atypique) des fonctions exécutives depuis les stades les plus primaires, où elles ne sont encore qu’un concept unitaire, à l’adolescence, en suivant leurs différenciations et leurs spécifications, ouvre bien des perspectives quant à la prévention et la réhabilitation des troubles psychiatriques et autres conditions singulières. Tout homme, et le sens de soi, étant le fruit de ses expériences, de ses capacités d’adaptation et d’intégration, il est heureux que nous commencions à disposer d’éléments fiables susceptibles de déboucher sur de nouveaux modèles de la santé et de soins, liant la réhabilitation avec les dispositifs médicaux sociaux psychiatriques dont la pédopsychiatrie. En conséquence, nous mettons à la disposition de nos collègues francophones, et des étudiants, une traduction de cette synthèse remarquable.
... Saarni, 1999). Większość form samoregulacji opiera się na zaprzeczaniu impulsom i postępowaniu wbrew hedonistycznym tendencjom -innymi słowy: zastępowaniu celów krótkoterminowych, celami długoterminowymi (Mischel, 1974a(Mischel, , 1974bMischel, Shoda, Rodriguez, 1989). Działanie wbrew owym impulsom czy potrzebom, połączone z brakiem adaptacyjnych strategii regulowania emocji, często prowadzi do powstawania negatywnego afektu (Kozlowski, Herman, 1984), a on staje się przyczyną poddania się impulsom i podjęcia aktywności ukierunkowanej na jego zniesienie, a więc skutkuje nieefektywną samoregulacją. ...
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Celem niniejszej książki uczyniono charakterystykę zagadnienia zaburzenia regulacji emocji u sprawców przestępstw seksualnych jako zjawiska pełniącego istotną rolę w procesie stawania się sprawcą oraz zjawiska istotnego z perspektywy profesjonalistów pracujących z osobami wykorzystującymi dzieci. W rozdziale pierwszym przedstawiono funkcjonujące w literaturze definicje przemocy seksualnej wobec dzieci, ujęte w perspektywie klinicznej, prawniczej oraz społecznej, opisano skalę zjawiska oraz przedstawiono teorie wyjaśniające mechanizm leżący u podłoża wykorzystania seksualnego dziecka. Rozdział drugi zawiera przegląd koncepcji regulacji emocji oraz ich analizę w kontekście sprawstwa przemocy seksualnej przeciwko dzieciom, a także przedstawia dotychczasowe badania udziału regulacji emocji w przestępstwie seksualnym. Rozdział trzeci porusza zagadnienie znaczenia i miejsca procesów regulacyjnych w oddziaływaniach terapeutycznych prowadzonych wobec tej populacji.
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When offered a choice (Choice Y) between a small immediate reward (2-sec exposure to grain) and a large reward (4-sec exposure to grain) delayed by 4 sec, pigeons invariably preferred the small, immediate reward. However, when offered a choice (Choice X) between a delay of T seconds followed by Choice Y and a delay of T seconds followed by restriction to the large delayed reward only, the pigeon's choice depended on T. When T was small, the pigeons chose the alternative leading to Choice Y (and then chose the small, immediate reward). When T was large, the pigeons chose the alternative leading to the large delayed reward only. The reversal of preference as T increases is predicted by several recent models for choice between various amounts and delays of reward. The preference for the large delayed alternative with long durations of T parallels everyday instances of advance commitment to a given course of action. Such commitment may be seen as a prototype for self-control.
Article
The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
Chapter
This chapter provides an overview of research on choice preferences for delayed, larger versus immediate, smaller gratifications. In spite of the widespread recognition of the important role of delay of gratification in human affairs, previous experimental research on the topic has been limited. At the empirical level, extensive experimental work has been done on delay of reward in animals. Surprisingly, although voluntary delay behavior has been assumed to be a critical component of such concepts as “ego strength,” “impulse control,” and “internalization,” prior to the present research program relatively little systematic attention had been devoted to it in empirical work on human social behavior. The chapter presents, in greater detail, selected studies that focus on the role of cognitive processes during self-imposed delay. Many theorists have paid tribute abstractly to the importance of cognition for the phenomena of personality in general and for self-regulatory processes in particular. These tributes have been accompanied by some correlational research that explores, for example, the links between intelligence, self-control, cognitive styles, and other dispositional. The chapter offers a further theoretical analysis of the determinants of delay behavior.
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Article
In a comparative test of the relative efficacy of live and symbolic models for modifying delay-of-reward behavior, groups of children with marked preferences for either immediate but less valued rewards, or more valuable delay reinforcers, were assigned randomly to 1 of 3 experimental conditions. 1 group observed live models who exhibited delay behavior that was counter to the children's pattern; a 2nd group was presented essentially the same modeling cues except in symbolic verbal form; while a 3rd group had no exposure to any models. Changes in Ss' delay-of-reward behavior were measured immediately following exposure to the modeling procedures, and reassessed approximately 1 mo. later within a different stimulus situation. Both live and symbolic models produced substantial modifications in delay-of-reward behavior within the immediate social-influence setting, but the changes induced in high-delay children through exposure to symbolic models were less stable over time. (27 ref.)
Article
The study of “metacognition” has become vigorous in recent years, with extensive research exploring the development of children’s knowledge of effective strategies in attention, comprehension, and memory (e.g., Brown, 1980; Flavell & Wellman, 1977). In contrast, the child’s developing understanding of essential strategies for self-regulation — a core aspect of human functioning, basic to virtually all conceptions of personality — has been neglected. Perhaps this neglect reflects the fact that until recently there were few objective criteria against which one could assess the relative efficacy of various strategies for self-control. Studies of the conditions that enhance or impede successful delay of gratification in children (e.g., Miller & Karniol, 1976a, 1976b; Mischel, 1974, 1981b; Toner, 1981; Toner & Smith, 1977; Yates, Lippett, & Yates, 1981) now provide a basis for assessing the child’s developing understanding against objective criteria of efficacy.
Article
Describes 3 experiments with a total of 92 3-5 yr. olds. Exp. I compared the effects of external and cognitive distraction from reward objects on the length of time which Ss waited for a preferred delayed reward before forfeiting it for a less preferred immediate one. In accord with predictions from an extension of frustrative nonreward theory, Ss waited much longer for a preferred reward when they were distracted from the rewards. Exp. II demonstrated that only certain cognitive events (thinking "fun things") served as effective ideational distractors. Thinking "sad thoughts" produced short delay times, as did thinking about the rewards themselves. In Exp. III the delayed rewards were not physically available for direct attention during the delay period, and Ss' cognitive attention was manipulated by prior instructions. While Ss waited, cognitions about the rewards significantly reduced, rather than enhanced, the length of their delay of gratification. Overall, attentional and cognitive mechanisms which enhanced the salience of rewards shortened the length of voluntary delay, while distractions from the rewards, overtly or cognitively, facilitated delay. Results permit a reinterpretation of basic mechanisms in voluntary delay of gratification and self-control. (16 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Explored the role of attentional processes in voluntary delay of reward by manipulating children's attention to the rewards for which they were waiting in a delay-of-gratification paradigm. 32 preschool children waited for a preferred but delayed reward while facing either the delayed reward, a less preferred but immediately available reward, both rewards, or no rewards. The dependent measure was the amount of time they waited for the preferred outcome before forfeiting it for the sake of the less desired but immediately available one. Results contradict predictions from psychodynamic theory and from speculations concerning self-instructions during time binding. Unexpectedly, but in accord with frustrative nonreward theory, voluntary waiting time was substantially increased when Ss could not attend to rewards during the waiting period. Implications are discussed for a theory of the development of delay of gratification. (22 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Investigated the effects of different cognitive representations of the rewards (outcomes) in a delay of gratification paradigm on children's ability to wait for these rewards. Ss were 60 3-5 yr olds in nursery school. It was found that consummatory (arousing) ideation directed at the relevant (contingent) rewards hindered effective delay. In contrast, cognitive transformations of the rewards which focused on their nonconsummatory qualities and associations significantly facilitated delay behavior more than did comparable ideation about similar rewards irrelevant to the delay contingency. Consummatory ideation focused on rewards irrelevant to the contingency also greatly helped to maintain delay. Theoretical implications for the role of fantasy and cognitive appraisal in self-control are examined. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Two brief laboratory tasks measuring delay of gratification in different ways were administered to 116 4-yr-old children. Personality data were available on these children separately at ages 3, 4, 7, and 11 yrs in the form of California Child Q-Set ratings by independent sets of teachers and examiners. The 2 delay-of-gratification measures were used to generate a more broadly based index of delay of gratification, and this index was correlated with the personality ratings available at the 4 ages. Boys who delayed gratification tended to be described as deliberative, attentive, reasonable, reserved, cooperative, and able to modulate motivational and emotional impulse. Boys who did not delay gratification, by contrast, were irritable, restless, aggressive, and generally not self-controlled. Girls who delayed gratification were consistently described as intelligent, resourceful, and competent. Girls who did not delay tended to go to pieces under stress; to be victimized by other children; and to be easily offended, sulky, and whiny. Findings are interpreted in terms of the constructs of ego control and ego resiliency and the differential socialization of the sexes. (26 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)