Helping Young Children to Delay Gratification

Early Childhood Education Journal 06/2008; 35(6):557-564. DOI: 10.1007/s10643-008-0240-9


The ability to delay gratification (DG) in young children is vital to their later development. Such ability should be taught
as early as possible. One hundred kindergartners (Mean age=6.11), randomly assigned to three groups; a, labeling: received
the treatment of being labeled as “patient” kids; b, story-telling: were read a story about the patient antagonist rewarded
double gifts, while the impulsive character got only one same reward; c, control: received no treatment. Under the DG task
of Ball-Moving Activity, the ANOVA results showed the children in labeling group delayed longer (M=13.23m) than the control
one (M=11.25m), showed marginal significant difference at p=.06, medium effect size magnitude at η2=.06. No significant mean differences were found between the story-telling (M=12.68m) and the control group, though the
story-telling group delayed more than 1min longer than their counterparts. Sex differences on the task are also discussed.

40 Reads
  • Source
    • "The children who were labelled as patient delayed significantly longer than children in the control group, demonstrating the power of self-perception and priming. However, no statistically significant differences were found between the storytelling group and the control group, although they did delay one minute longer on average than controls (Lee et al., 2008). The limited effect of storytelling in this study could be due to the fact that the story was only read once, and to a full classroom. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Children’s ability to delay gratification is correlated with a range of positive outcomes in adulthood, showing the potential impact of helping young children increase their competence in this area. This study investigated the influence of symbolic models on 3-year-old children’s self-control. Eighty-three children were randomly assigned to one of three modelling conditions: personal story-telling, impersonal story-telling, and control. Children were tested on the delay-of-gratification maintenance paradigm both before and after being exposed to a symbolic model or control condition. Repeated measures ANOVA revealed no significant differences between the two story-telling groups and the control group, indicating that the symbolic models did not influence children’s ability to delay gratification. A serendipitous finding showed a positive relationship between children’s ability to wait and their production and accurate use of temporal terms, which was more pronounced in girls than boys. This finding may be an indication that a higher temporal vocabulary is linked to a continuous representation of the self in time, facilitating children’s representation of the future-self receiving a larger reward than what the present-self could receive.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · PeerJ
  • Source
    • "Therefore, ADOG plays a very important role in determining children's sustainability in pursuing their academic tasks. The most significant difference between this research and other earlier works on the delay of gratification is that most research done earlier focused more on the educational aspects, using food as the objects of interest or non-educational oriented tasks (Berk, 2008; Lee et al., 2008) while this research placed special attention on the academic goals. This study contributes to the understanding of delay of gratification, specifically on academic rewards, and it provides a clearer picture on the differences between normal delay of gratification and ADOG. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study examined the effects of academic self-concept (internal factor) and maternal parenting behaviors (external factor) on academic delay of gratification (ADOG). Additionally, models predicting ADOG were compared between Korean and Malaysian children. The participants of this study were 100 Korean third graders and their mothers, and 100 Malaysian third graders and their mothers. The children completed the modified versions of the Academic Delay of Gratification Scale for Children, and Academic Self-Concept Questionnaire. The mothers completed the Parenting Attitude Test. Pearson's correlation tests, independent t-tests, and multiple regression analyses were conducted to test the research hypotheses. The results showed that Korean children reported higher ADOG and academic self-concept scores than that of Malaysian children. Moreover, academic self-concept was found to have a significant positive effect on ADOG among both Korean and Malaysian children. There was no significant gender difference in ADOG for both Korean and Malaysian children. However, the effects of maternal parenting behaviors on ADOG were only detected among the Malaysian children, particularly on Achievement Press. That is, only for the Malaysian children, maternal pressure about academic achievement was found to have a significant positive effect on ADOG. In conclusion, only academic self-concept was found to be a significant predictor explaining the variance in ADOG among Korean children. On the other hand, academic self-concept and maternal parenting behaviors were shown as significant predictors explaining the variance in ADOG among Malaysian children.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2012
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Two studies examined the interactive effect of receptive verbal intelligence measured by the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test and self-regulatory competencies measured in the delay of gratification paradigm on boys’ aggression. Study 1 participants (N=98) were middle school, low-income boys primarily ethnic minority. Participants for Study 2 (N=59) were drawn from a treatment camp for boys from low-income neighborhoods with behavioral adjustment problems. In both studies, the interaction between verbal intelligence and self-regulation was significant such that verbal intelligence was associated with lower aggression to a greater extent among boys who had effective self-regulatory skills than among those who had ineffective self-regulatory skills. The implications of these findings for interventions and for a theory of risk factors in aggression are discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2007 · Journal of Research in Personality
Show more