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A bidirectional model of executive functions and self-regulation

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... Executive functioning (EF) describes a series of complex cognitive functions that support goal-directed behaviors (Blair & Ursache, 2011;Miyake & Friedman, 2012;Miyake et al., 2000). Primary components of EF include working memory, the ability to hold and manipulate information in mind; response inhibition, the ability to withhold one behavior to engage in a different behavior; and cognitive flexibility, the ability to shift attention according to external needs (Dimond, 2006;Garon et al., 2008, Miyake et al., 2000. ...
... Primary components of EF include working memory, the ability to hold and manipulate information in mind; response inhibition, the ability to withhold one behavior to engage in a different behavior; and cognitive flexibility, the ability to shift attention according to external needs (Dimond, 2006;Garon et al., 2008, Miyake et al., 2000. EF is a fundamental cognitive ability that enables self-regulatory processes and effective learning (Blair & Raver, 2012;Blair & Ursache, 2011;Lantrip et al., 2016;Zelazo & Cunningham, 2007;McClelland et al., 2014;Mills et al., 2018). Studies have linked better EF to better academic achievement, such as math and literary performance (McClelland et al., 2014;Schmitt et al., 2017). ...
... EF describes a series of complex cognitive functions that support goal-directed behaviors and effective learning (Blair & Ursache, 2011;McClelland et al., 2014;Miyake & Friedman, 2012;Schmitt et al., 2017). Existing research on EF relies primarily on between-person approaches, emphasizing between-person differences in EF and related factors. ...
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Executive functioning (EF) is a series of fundamental goal-directed cognitive abilities that enable effective learning. Differences in daily sleep quality may covary with fluctuations in EF among youth. Most studies linking sleep to EF rely on between-person differences and average effects for the sample. This study employed an intensive longitudinal design and examined the within-person relations between self-reported prior night’s sleep quality and next day’s EF. Students from Grades 4 to 12 (M age= 14.60, SD = 2.53) completed three behavioral EF tasks repeatedly across approximately one semester. The final analytic sample included 2898 observations embedded in 73 participants. Although, on average, sleep did not significantly covary with EF, there was heterogeneity in within-person sleep-EF relations. Moreover, individuals’ average sleep quality moderated within-person effects. For individuals with low mean sleep quality, a better-than-usual sleep quality was linked to better EF performance. However, for individuals with high mean sleep quality, better-than-usual sleep quality was linked to worse EF performance. Understanding person-specific relations between sleep and EF can help educators optimize EF and learning on a daily basis and produce positive academic outcomes across longer time periods.
... Howard and Melhiush, 2017;Howard et al., 2019). Whereas cognitive SR is often considered to be concerned with attentional and higher order cognitive control (Blair, 2016), behavioral SR is often used to describe children's ability to control their actions in everyday contexts (Howard and Melhiush, 2017). In early childhood, SR thus has broad and multiple applications such as waiting one's turn despite the impulse to act now, overcoming strong emotions in order to respond adaptively, and remaining within the rules and requirements of the setting (e.g., at preschool vs. home). ...
... Also essential are selection and maintenance of goals, and motivation to continually invest effort until goal achievement. By contrast, in the bi-directional model of EF and SR (Blair and Ursache, 2011;Blair, 2016) EFs are top-down mechanisms by which an individual can direct attention and manage arousal (Ochsner and Gross, 2005) for the purposes of goal-directed action. From a bottom-up perspective, the mobilisation of EFs is influenced by activity in stress, emotional, and attentional systems (Blair and Dennis, 2010). ...
... While both models described above envision an interaction between EF and SR, the bi-directional model uniquely includes mechanisms by which EF and SR may be mutually influential throughout development (Blair, 2016). For example, exposure to chronic stress -requiring frequent and effortful SR -can release neurochemicals affecting activity and development of the prefrontal cortex, thereby influencing EF development (Cerqueira et al., 2007;Liston et al., 2009). ...
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Despite a tendency to study executive function (EF) and self-regulation (SR) separately, parallel lines of research suggest considerable overlap between the two abilities. Specifically, both show similar developmental trajectories (i.e., develop rapidly in the early years), predict a broad range of overlapping outcomes across the lifespan (e.g., academic success, mental and physical health, and social competence), and have overlapping neural substrates (e.g., prefrontal cortex). While theoretical frameworks diverge in how they reconcile EF and SR – ranging from treating the two as functionally synonymous, to viewing them as related yet distinct abilities – there is no consensus and limited empirical evidence on the nature of their relationship and how this extends developmentally. The current study examined bi-directional longitudinal associations between early EF and SR, and their longitudinal associations with subsequent early academic skills, in a sample of 199 3- to 5-year-old pre-school children. The adopted measures permitted EF and SR to be modelled as composite indices for these analyses, thereby decreasing task-specific components of these associations. Early academic skills were captured by a standardized direct assessment. Bi-directional associations between EF and SR were found, with both accounting for unique variance in early academic skills 7 and 19months later. The current results provide important evidence to distinguish between EF and SR abilities, yet also for their reciprocal influence in situ and across early development.
... Cognitive flexibility is the most complex EF component and develops last, building upon working memory and complex inhibition abilities. EFs enable reasoning, problem-solving, and goal-directed thinking and assist in regulating attention, emotions, and behaviors according to external demands (Blair & Ursache, 2011;Miyake & Friedman, 2012;Miyake et al., 2000;Müller & Kerns, 2015;Obradović, 2016), and thereby enable reasoning, problem-solving, and goal-directed thinking. Thus, EFs are key processes that lay the foundation for higher-level self-regulatory processes (Blair & Raver, 2012;Blair & Ursache, 2011;Lantrip et al., 2016;Zelazo & Cunningham, 2007). ...
... EFs enable reasoning, problem-solving, and goal-directed thinking and assist in regulating attention, emotions, and behaviors according to external demands (Blair & Ursache, 2011;Miyake & Friedman, 2012;Miyake et al., 2000;Müller & Kerns, 2015;Obradović, 2016), and thereby enable reasoning, problem-solving, and goal-directed thinking. Thus, EFs are key processes that lay the foundation for higher-level self-regulatory processes (Blair & Raver, 2012;Blair & Ursache, 2011;Lantrip et al., 2016;Zelazo & Cunningham, 2007). ...
... Directional change is usually irreversible and may be manifested at macro timescales (e.g., months, years), whereas fluctuations may occur at micro timescales (e.g., hours, days) and are often temporary and reversible. Studies have documented fluctuations in EF performance at micro timescales, impacted by contextual factors (Blair & Raver, 2012;Blair & Ursache, 2011). Some lab-based experimental studies of EFs suggest that lab-induced affect, such as anxiety or pleasant mood, can lead to changes in EF performance, suggesting that such variation reflects fluctuations in EFs during a short period of time (Katzir et al., 2010;Lindström & Bohlin, 2012;Oaksford et al., 1996;Phillips et al., 2002). ...
Article
Traditional variable-centered research on executive functions (EFs) often infers intraindividual development using group-based averages. Such a method masks meaningful individuality and involves the fallacy of equating group-level data with person-specific changes. We used an intensive longitudinal design to study idiographic executive function fluctuation among ten boys from Grade 4. Each of the participants completed between 33 and 43 measurement occasions (M = 38.8) across approximately three months. Data were collected remotely using a computerized short version of the Dimensional Change Card Sort task. Multi-group analyses of three participant pairs (Participants 5 and 3, 5 and 2, and 5 and 6) demonstrated that Participant 5 differed from Participants 3 and 2 in different ways but Participants 5 and 6 were similar in all comparisons. Dynamic structural equation modeling demonstrated unique individual trajectories, which were not represented by the trajectory of group-averages. Although more than half of the participants showed a negative association between EFs and inattention, two participants showed a positive association between EF and inattention. This study demonstrated meaningful person-specific trajectories of EFs, suggesting that future study should undertake the analysis of individual development before data-aggregation or generalization from aggregate statistics to individuals.
... EF describes complex cognitive functioning that enables reasoning, problem-solving, and goal-directed thinking and assists in regulating attention, emotions, and behaviors according to external demands (Blair & Ursache, 2011;Miyake et al., 2000;Miyake & Friedman, 2012). EF is a key aspect of child and adolescent development, providing a foundation for higher-level self-regulatory processes and predicting academic achievement and overall adjustment (Blair & Ursache, 2011;Cantor et al., 2019;Lantrip, Isquith, Koven, Welsh, & Roth, 2016;Osher, Cantor, Berg, Steyer, & Rose, 2020;Stafford-Brizard, 2016). ...
... EF describes complex cognitive functioning that enables reasoning, problem-solving, and goal-directed thinking and assists in regulating attention, emotions, and behaviors according to external demands (Blair & Ursache, 2011;Miyake et al., 2000;Miyake & Friedman, 2012). EF is a key aspect of child and adolescent development, providing a foundation for higher-level self-regulatory processes and predicting academic achievement and overall adjustment (Blair & Ursache, 2011;Cantor et al., 2019;Lantrip, Isquith, Koven, Welsh, & Roth, 2016;Osher, Cantor, Berg, Steyer, & Rose, 2020;Stafford-Brizard, 2016). ...
... In addition, the ergodicity assumption is not applicable in studies of affect and other cognitive functioning (Brose, Voelkle, Lövdén, Lindenberger, & Schmiedek, 2015;Grandy, Lindenberger, & Werkle-Bergner, 2017;Haqiqatkhah & Tuerlinckx, 2019;Ram et al., 2005). Moreover, studies with adults have demonstrated that EF may fluctuate day to day (Schmiedek, Lövdén, & Lindenberger, 2009) and can vary due to different contexts (Blair & Raver, 2012;Blair & Ursache, 2011;Katzir, Eyal, Meiran, & Kessler, 2010;Lindström & Bohlin, 2012;Oaksford, Morris, Grainger, & Williams, 1996;Phillips, Bull, Adams, & Fraser, 2002). If such variation also existed among children and adolescents, the implications for theory and application to education and youth development programs would be significant. ...
Article
A focus on intraindividual change and person-specific pathways is a necessary starting point for developmental science inquiries. However, research often relies on ergodicity-based assumptions about group averages and other variable-centered approaches. Using ideas associated with relational developmental systems metatheory, such as the Bornstein Specificity Principle, we re-examine the ergodicity assumption using Executive Functioning (EF) data from the Measures and Methods Across the Developmental Continuum Project. Participants from Grades 4 to 12 (M age = 14.60) completed three behavioral EF tasks (i.e., working memory, response inhibition, and cognitive flexibility). The final analytic sample included 64 participants who provided data on 30 measurement occasions. Intraindividual and interindividual EF latent constructs appeared to be different, and we identified a wide range of person-specific EF trajectories. These findings challenge the ergodicity assumption framing variable- and group-oriented approaches to individual development. This study demonstrates the feasibility of collecting intensive longitudinal data to understand youth development on an individual level as an alternative to immediate data aggregation and as means to illuminate the use of the specificity principle in understanding human development and in applications pertinent to enhancing the lives of diverse youth across specific times and places in their specific developmental pathways.
... During this time, early self-regulation skills have been identified as a foundational area of developmental functioning that confers longitudinal risk and benefit for a broad array of learning and wellbeing outcomes (Robson et al., 2020). Self-regulation enables control over attention, emotion, and behavior in ways that are adaptive to children's immediate goals, context, and environment, the outcomes of which contribute to developmental trajectories for decades to come (Bailey & Jones, 2019;Blair, 2016). This has highlighted the need for methods to accurately appraise progress in children's self-regulation development. ...
... Self-regulation refers to a suite of volitional and automatic responses that serve to control cognition, behavior, and emotion in ways that support learning and wellbeing (Blair, 2016). Specifically, self-regulation (sometimes referred to as self-control: Hofmann et al., 2012) enables goal-directed behavior, despite contrary impulses or distractions. ...
... The nature of self-regulation in terms of its structure and constituent parts continues to be debated, and its exploration is further complicated by variable use of terminology across fields of research (Bailey & Jones, 2019;Blair, 2016;Hofmann et al., 2012). Regulation of emotion, for instance, is typically seen as relatively distinct from-although developmentally and reciprocally related to-cognitive/attentional aspects of self-regulation (Bailey & Jones, 2019;Blair, 2016;McClelland et al., 2010). ...
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Background Over the past few decades early self-regulation has been identified as foundational to positive learning and wellbeing trajectories. As a consequence, a wide range of approaches have been developed to capture children’s developmental progress in self-regulation. Little is known, however, about whether and which of these are reliable indicators of future ability and risk for young children.Objective This study examined measures from prominent approaches to self-regulation assessment (i.e., task-based, observation, adult-report) to determine: their structure; how these predict future academic school readiness in 3–5-year-old children, individually and if combined; and whether thresholds could be ascertained to reliably discriminate those children at risk of poor academic outcomes.Methods Longitudinal analyses were conducted on start-of-year self-regulation data from 217 children in the final year of pre-school, using three prominent approaches to self-regulation assessment, and their end-of-year school readiness data. Data were subjected to path analysis, structural equation modelling and receiver operating characteristic curve analyses.ResultsStart-of-year cognitive self-regulation indices—but not behavioral or emotional self-regulation indices—from each approach reliably predicted school readiness 7 months later, just prior to commencing school. Only when combined into a composite score was a threshold with sufficient sensitivity and specificity for predicting school readiness risk established; yet this provided better prediction of true-negative than true-positive cases.Conclusions Taken together, these results suggest the importance of cognitive self-regulation in particular for school readiness, as measured here, although self-regulation is just one of the contributing factors to school readiness risk.
... The capacity to self-regulate cognition, emotion, physiology, and behavior develops rapidly during the first few years of life. The development of early self-regulation is not a simple, individual process of maturation but rather depends greatly on the social co-regulation of infant functioning by caregivers (Blair & Ursache, 2011;Calkins et al., 2016;Feldman et al., 1999;Fogel, 1993;Kopp, 1982;Vygotsky, 1978). Traditionally, caregiver-infant co-regulation in early development has been examined on the behavioral level postnatally, although co-regulation on the physiological level occurs even during pregnancy via maternal regulation of the fetal environment (Bobin-Bègue, 2019; Gitau et al., 1998;Seckl & Meaney, 2004). ...
... In recent years, strides have been made in understanding how self-regulation capacities such as executive functions develop early in life. Hierarchical and bidirectional models of self-regulation emphasize how reciprocal relations between social and biological factors contribute to executive function development (Blair & Ursache, 2011;Calkins et al., 2016;Kopp, 1982;Sameroff, 2009). For instance, on one hand, studies have shown that environmental and social factors, such as parenting and peer relations, play an important role in shaping early executive functions (Bridgett et al., 2015;Deater-Deckard, 2014;Finegood & Blair, 2017;Hughes & Ensor, 2009;Perry et al., 2018). ...
... have shown that supportive relationships during the transition to par-enthood are related to caregiving quality (Goldstein et al., 1996;Shin et al., 2006). In turn, higher caregiving quality during infancy may scaffold the development of infant executive functions (Blair & Ursache, 2011;Bridgett et al., 2015;Samdan et al., 2020). Thus, parents who are better at co-regulating each other physiologically may also better coregulate their infant, thereby supporting the development of cognitive self-regulation. ...
Article
The present study investigated associations between prenatal mother–father cortisol linkage and infant executive functions. Data come from an international sample (N = 358) of predominantly white and middle‐ to upper‐class first‐time parents. During late pregnancy, parents collected diurnal salivary cortisol samples and reported on levels of psychological stress. At 24 months, children completed a battery of executive function tasks. Parent cortisol linkage was operationalized as the time‐dependent, within‐dyad association between maternal and paternal diurnal cortisol. Results indicated that prenatal linkage was positively related to infant executive functions, suggesting that stronger mother–father cortisol linkage was associated with higher executive function scores. Additionally, this relation was moderated by paternal average cortisol levels such that executive function scores were lower when fathers had higher average cortisol levels and linkage was weak. This association suggests that elevated paternal cortisol amplifies the negative relation between lower cortisol linkage and lower infant executive function scores. Importantly, these findings were observed while controlling for observational measures of caregiving and self‐report measures of psychosocial functioning and infant social‐emotional behavior. These results suggest that prenatal linkage of mother's and father's stress physiology plays a potentially important part in programming and regulating infant neurocognitive development.
... Taken together, the findings suggest that self-regulation and executive function skills tend to cluster together at this age and in this low-income sample. Composite scores of teacher report of self-regulation are somewhat sufficient in identifying children who also have poorer executive function skills and are at risk of poorer motor, social, and school INTRODUCTION Self-regulation (SR) as an umbrella term is considered to include a wide range of processes that allow for the control of attention, cognition, emotion, and behavior in ways that are adaptive to circumstances and support goal attainment (Blair, 2016). The executive functions (EF) are specific cognitive control processes that in early childhood include dimensions of working memory (holding information in mind), shifting (flexible shifting of attention between information or tasks), and inhibition (the ability to control urges and resist distraction; Blair, 2016). ...
... Composite scores of teacher report of self-regulation are somewhat sufficient in identifying children who also have poorer executive function skills and are at risk of poorer motor, social, and school INTRODUCTION Self-regulation (SR) as an umbrella term is considered to include a wide range of processes that allow for the control of attention, cognition, emotion, and behavior in ways that are adaptive to circumstances and support goal attainment (Blair, 2016). The executive functions (EF) are specific cognitive control processes that in early childhood include dimensions of working memory (holding information in mind), shifting (flexible shifting of attention between information or tasks), and inhibition (the ability to control urges and resist distraction; Blair, 2016). Though stemming originally from different research domains (SR from the study of temperament and in particular effortful control, and EF from cognitive neuroscience), several recent models have sought to bring these constructs together to create a more complete understanding of self-regulatory development in early childhood (Blair, 2016;Bailey and Jones, 2019). ...
... The executive functions (EF) are specific cognitive control processes that in early childhood include dimensions of working memory (holding information in mind), shifting (flexible shifting of attention between information or tasks), and inhibition (the ability to control urges and resist distraction; Blair, 2016). Though stemming originally from different research domains (SR from the study of temperament and in particular effortful control, and EF from cognitive neuroscience), several recent models have sought to bring these constructs together to create a more complete understanding of self-regulatory development in early childhood (Blair, 2016;Bailey and Jones, 2019). Further, various bodies of research have sought to understand the extent to which these components are uni-or multi-dimensional in early childhood (Kälin and Roebers, 2021), how they are best measured (Camerota et al., 2020), and their shared and unique developmental course. ...
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This study contributes to understandings of early childhood self-regulation and executive function, and their components, through taking a person-centered approach to investigating how these skills cluster together in children aged 4–5years. A sample of children (N=206) from preschools in low socioeconomic communities were assessed through teacher report of self-regulation and three executive function tasks at the commencement of the preschool year. Outcome variables included teacher report of social skills and behavioral problems, and children’s school readiness and visual motor integration skills were directly assessed. When the scores from this low-income sample were compared to available norms, over 70% of children scored below the 50th percentile in executive function measures, approximately 20% were below average in self-regulation skills, 48% were delayed in school readiness scores, 36% had above average levels of internalizing problems, and 25% were above average in externalizing problems. A series of four latent profile models each used different measurement approaches and combinations of self-regulation and executive function components. In three of the four models (two which combined self-regulation and executive function measures and one with teacher report of self-regulation only), a high skill and low skill profile were found with 31 to 42% of children in the low profile depending on the model. Children were very similarly classified across all three models. When three executive function scores were modeled alone, a more complex three-profile solution emerged (low, moderate, and high) with 52% in the low profile. Children identified in the low profiles across all models were at greater risk of poorer school readiness, visual motor integration and social skills, and increased behavioral problems. Taken together, the findings suggest that self-regulation and executive function skills tend to cluster together at this age and in this low-income sample. Composite scores of teacher report of self-regulation are somewhat sufficient in identifying children who also have poorer executive function skills and are at risk of poorer motor, social, and school readiness outcomes. These children are an important target group for additional supports prior to school entry.
... Self-regulation is a multidimensional construct that broadly refers to the regulation of emotions, cognition, and behavior . Moreover, self-regulation is understood to be composed of interrelated top-down and bottom-up components (Blair and Ursache, 2011;Blair and Raver, 2012). The bottom-up components are automatic, rapid, stimulus-driven reactivity and they do not require mental capacity, while the top-down components are related to executive functioning (EF) (Blair and Ursache, 2011;Blair and Raver, 2012;Nigg, 2017). ...
... Moreover, self-regulation is understood to be composed of interrelated top-down and bottom-up components (Blair and Ursache, 2011;Blair and Raver, 2012). The bottom-up components are automatic, rapid, stimulus-driven reactivity and they do not require mental capacity, while the top-down components are related to executive functioning (EF) (Blair and Ursache, 2011;Blair and Raver, 2012;Nigg, 2017). EF is a high-level set of processes that include attentional or cognitive flexibility, working memory, and inhibitory control (Blair, 2002), and is often used and studied in cognitive disciplines (McClelland and Cameron, 2012). ...
... These higher-order cognitive processes are essential for goal-directed problem-solving in new situations and planning (Yeniad et al., 2013). EF is not synonymous with self-regulation; however, the EF components are cognitive processes that assist a child in broader aspects of self-regulation (Blair and Ursache, 2011). The Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders (HTKS) task used in the present study has been found to be related to all three EF components in a behavioral self-regulation task . ...
Article
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Self-regulation develops rapidly during the years before formal schooling, and it helps lay the foundation for children's later social, academic, and educational outcomes. However, children's self-regulation may be influenced by cultural contexts, sociodemographic factors, and characteristics of the child. The present study investigates whether children's levels of self-regulation, as measured by the Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders (HTKS) task, are the same in samples from Norway (M age = 5.79; N = 243, 49.4% girls) and the United States (U.S.) (M age = 5.65; N = 264, 50.8% girls) and whether the role of mother's education level and child gender on children's self-regulation differ across the two samples. Results showed that Norwegian and U.S. children had similar levels of self-regulation. Mother's education level significantly predicted children's self-regulation in the U.S. sample but not in the Norwegian sample, and this difference across samples was significant. Girls had a significantly higher level of self-regulation than boys in the Norwegian sample, but there were no gender differences in the U.S. sample. However, the effect of child gender on self-regulation did not differ significantly across the two samples. Results highlight the importance of cross-cultural studies of self-regulation.
... Researchers argue that basic EF processes are recruited to a range of higher-order cognitive behavioural functions (Miyake et al., 2000), such as planning and strategy selection associated with SRL (Diamond, 2013;Pintrich, 2000;Zimmerman, 2000). Relatedly, some theoretical models of SRL assume that biologically based executive processes are necessary to support effective SRL (Blair & Ursache, 2011;Hofmann et al., 2012), in other words that SRL is a contextualized application of EF. Roebers (2017) proposes that this relation applies specifically to children between 4 and 6 years of age, and changes developmentally. ...
... T1, Time 1; T2, Time 2; SRL, self-regulated learning; EF, executive functioning; HTKS, head toes knees shoulders task extended period may provide a more reliable evaluation of SRL than can be achieved in a small number of direct observation sessions-even offsetting the effect of common methods. The longitudinal prediction is consistent with the notion, argued by many researchers (Blair & Ursache, 2011;Garner, 2009;Hofmann et al., 2012;Rutherford et al., 2018), that EF supports children's SRL and that when children monitor their progress, adapt their plans, and persist with task when facing difficulties, as often required in the classroom, these latter processes draw on EF (Rutherford et al., 2018). Further, our modelling shows early EF predicts higher levels of future SRL, perhaps because the earlier development of EF provides greater opportunity for children to develop and practise SRL. ...
Article
Executive functioning (EF) and self-regulated learning (SRL) are established predictors of academic achievement, both concurrent and future. Although it has been theorized that EF development enables SRL in early childhood, this directional model remains empirically untested against plausible alternatives. Thus, this study investigated the longitudinal relations between children’s EF and SRL during the transition from kindergarten to Year 1 in an Australian sample to determine the direction and strength of the association between EF and SRL. We compared four directional models and also tested whether EF and SRL can be construed as manifestations of a common factor. Children’s EF was assessed using a battery of tasks tapping working memory, inhibition, and shifting, and their SRL was assessed by teachers using the Checklist of Independent Learning Development. Cross-lagged structural equation modelling analyses were conducted on a longitudinal dataset of 176 children at the end of kindergarten (age M = 5 years, 8 months; SD = 4.02 months), and 1 year later (age M = 6 years, 5 months; SD = 3.65 months). EF predicted SRL longitudinally (b= .58, controlling for kindergarten SRL), consistent with common assumptions, whereas SRL did not predict EF. However, the common factor model also fit the data very well. We concluded that EF and SRL are indeed related concurrently and longitudinally but that further evidence is needed to disambiguate whether EF is best understood as a necessary antecedent of SRL development in early childhood, or whether they reflect the same general construct.
... Though there is often continuity in family conditions, effects of a given environment depend on a child's developmental stage. Children's responses may reflect growing awareness of and sensitivity to their environments (Blair and Ursache, 2011). Separating cumulative effects from acute effects during potential sensitive periods will require longitudinal assessments. ...
... Developing cognitive capabilities may also make some age periods particularly salient for interpreting environmental events. For example, ages 4-5 represent a period of developing executive function and links between causes and effects (Blair and Ursache, 2011). ...
Article
Across nonhuman species, pubertal timing is affected by the social environment, with consequences for reproductive success and behavior. In human beings, variations in pubertal timing have not been systematically examined in relation to social environmental antecedents, although their psychological consequences are well documented. This paper focuses on links in human beings between pubertal timing and the childhood social environment, with several sections: A review of studies relating pubertal timing to the family context, a key aspect of the social environment; challenges in studying the issue; and opportunities for future work that takes advantage of and creates links with evidence in other species. The review shows that pubertal timing in girls is accelerated by adversity in aspects of the early family social context, with effects small in size; data in boys are not sufficient to enable conclusions. Inferences from existing studies are limited by variations in conceptualizations and measurement of relevant aspects of puberty and of the family social environment, and by methodological issues (e.g., reliance on existing data, use of retrospective reports, nonrandom missing data). Open questions remain about the nature, mechanisms, and specificity of the links between early family social environment and pubertal timing (e.g., form of associations, consideration of absence of positive experiences, role of timing of exposure). Animal studies provide a useful guide for addressing these questions, by delineating potential hormonal mechanisms that underlie links among social context, pubertal timing, and behavior, and encouraging attention to aspects of the social environment outside the family, especially peers.
... Emotional characteristics refer to behavioral and emotional regulation (Olson et al., 2002;Smith-Donald et al., 2007) and are characterized as involving the ability to respond to environmental demands in flexible and socially appropriate ways, as well as the ability to inhibit emotional reactions (Thompson, 1994). Cognitive characteristics, also called executive functions skills, such as working memory, inhibitory control, provide children with the ability to flexibly shift attention, and to focus attention to carry out goal-directed activities (e.g., Blair, 2002;Blair & Ursache, 2011;Liew, 2012). While self-regulation as a broad term has been associated with a variety of child outcomes, examinations of the construct vary. ...
... While self-regulation as a broad term has been associated with a variety of child outcomes, examinations of the construct vary. For example, temperamental selfregulation is often examined using measures of effortful control (Rothbart et al., 1994;Rothbart et al., 2011;Rueda et al., 2005), whereas cognitive self-regulation is frequently examined using behavioral or performance measures of specific skills within an executive function framework (Blair & Ursache, 2011;Gyurak et al., 2009). While there is overlap between the two frameworks, some researchers call for a distinction between the two constructs (Bridgett et al., 2013). ...
Article
Children in the United States experience higher rates of poverty than any other age group, including elderly adults and the poverty rate of young children (0-5 years) is considerably higher than that of older children (Proctor et al., 2016). There is an extensive body of research examining familial socioeconomic status (SES) and the influence on the skills and behaviors of young children; however, common key indicators of family SES may not fully depict the ways in which children living in poverty/low-income homes are influenced by economic disadvantage. The focus of the current study is to explore the ways in which proximal and distal familial factors are predictive of children’s inhibitory control and social-emotional skills to provide a more complete picture of how economic disadvantage affects young children. The data source for the current study comes from The Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES) 2014 and includes preschool aged children (M=57.87, SD=5.36) to investigate two research aims: to understand how proximal and distal factors are associated with preschool children’s inhibitory control and social-emotional skills; and to compare proximal and distal factors in preschool children’s household environment to traditional SES indices to gain greater understanding of the economic well-being indicators associated with school readiness. Three main findings emerged: (1) proximal variables were not found to fit a single, overarching proximal factor but remained independent variables; however, four distinct distal factors were revealed; (2) parent depression was not associated with children’s inhibitory control or social skill outcomes and (3) marital status predicted both observed and teacher reported child outcomes. Nonetheless, the findings from the current study provide evidence for considering the ways in which varying aspects of factors associated with poverty more negatively influence child outcomes than income alone.
... These findings exemplify the integration of EF and motivation, highlighting key individual differences in the effects of reward on cognitive control. Importantly, motivation-EF interactions are bidirectional in nature; rewards impact top-down cognitive control as well as bottom-up affective networks, while EF modulates reward processing and associated brain activity (Blair & Ursache, 2011;Kryza-Lacombe et al., 2021;Somerville & Casey, 2010). Associations among reward processing and EF may therefore have different patterns across development, as executive and motivational systems exhibit distinct trajectories. ...
... The effects of reward on cognitive control reflect bidirectional interactions among bottom-up affective processing and top-down executive control systems, which likely depend on age and individual differences in reward sensitivity (Blair & Ursache, 2011;Somerville & Casey, 2010). To our knowledge, this is the first investigation of the moderating influences of temperament on reward-based changes in early childhood EF. ...
Article
The effects of rewards on executive function (EF) reflect bidirectional interactions among motivational and executive systems that vary with age and temperament. However, methodological limitations hinder understanding of the precise influences of incentives on early EF, including the role of reward sensitivity. In this within‐subjects study, ninety‐three 3.5‐ to 5‐year‐olds (42 girls; 22% Hispanic; 78% White) residing in the United States completed equivalent EF measures (Stroop and non‐Stroop phases) in both rewarded and non‐rewarded conditions. Rewards enhanced Stroop accuracy and slowed overall response times (ds = 0.29–0.40). Critically, children with low parent‐reported reward sensitivity exhibited greater reward‐based increases in Stroop accuracy (r = −.30). These findings provide valuable insights on early motivation–cognition integration, highlighting temperament as a mechanism underlying these interactions.
... Students who learn to acknowledge and regulate emotions, form positive relationships, work well with their peers, and deal effectively with conflict, exhibit stronger executive function skills and self-regulation, and thrive in the school environment (Denham and Brown, 2010;Eisenberg et al., 2010;Nadeem et al., 2010). A bidirectional developmental model argues that brain areas linked with executive functions reciprocally interact with those areas underlying attention control, stress physiology, and emotion (Blair and Ursache, 2011). Notably, executive functions and self-regulation are both influenced by experience and have been shown to predict academic performance in later school years (Bull and Scerif, 2001;Bull et al., 2008;Blair and Ursache, 2011;Durlak et al., 2011). ...
... A bidirectional developmental model argues that brain areas linked with executive functions reciprocally interact with those areas underlying attention control, stress physiology, and emotion (Blair and Ursache, 2011). Notably, executive functions and self-regulation are both influenced by experience and have been shown to predict academic performance in later school years (Bull and Scerif, 2001;Bull et al., 2008;Blair and Ursache, 2011;Durlak et al., 2011). ...
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Despite the growing body of research indicating that integrated physical activity with learning benefits children both physically and cognitively, preschool curricula with integrated physical activities are scarce. The “Move for Thought (M4T) preK-K” program provides activities on fundamental motor skills that are integrated with academic concepts, executive function, and social-emotional skills in the preschool environment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of the M4T preK-K program over an eight-week period in 16 preschool centers (N = 259; Mage =4.22 SD = 0.61) that were randomly assigned to the intervention (8 M4T; n = 130; Mage =4.31 SD = 0.61) and the control (8 traditional; n = 130; Mage =4.13 SD = 0.60) groups. In both groups, teacher ratings of children’s attention, behavioral control, and social skills (i.e., cooperation, assertion, and self-control) in the classroom, as well as children’s perceived motor skill competence and executive functions, were collected before and after the intervention. A daily teacher log measured intervention fidelity and perceived experiences with the program. Results showed a significant improvement on attention scores for children in the M4T preK-K group, compared to the control group. No significant differences emerged for behavioral control, social skills, executive functions, and perceived motor competence among groups. A significant time effect was evident for executive functions, with both groups improving over time. Further, the program was well-received, easy to implement in the preschool classroom and with high rates of satisfaction for both children and teachers. The M4T preK-K program is promising in helping teachers prepare preschool children for future educational success.
... They value personal progress and deep understanding by linking learning outcomes to factors that they can control themselves and see their mistakes as an opportunity for learning (Perry & VandeKamp, 2000). This enables children to gain skills such as directing and maintaining attention, limiting their impulsive responses, listening, and remembering instructions, focusing on learning, monitoring and controlling, and keeping information in mind (Blair & Raver, 2015;Blair & Ursache, 2011;McClelland et al., 2014). These acquired skills play a fundamental role in conducting academic activities and support children's adaptation to these tasks, especially in reading and mathematicsrelated activities that require focused attention and problemsolving skills (Blair & Razza, 2007;Matthews et al., 2009). ...
... Studies (Abedi & Lord, 2001;Purpura & Reid, 2016;Taşkın & Tuğrul, 2014), show that language skills (receptive language, expressive language) affect early academic skills. Self-regulation is affected by language skills and affects early academic skills (Blair & Raver, 2015;Blair & Razza, 2007;Blair & Ursache, 2011;Matthews et al., 2009;McClelland et al., 2014;Vygotsky, 1962). In this sense, self-regulation may have a mediator effect between receptive and expressive language skills and early academic skills. ...
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In early childhood, the development of children’s self-regulation, language, vocabulary, and early academic skills is relatively fast. Identifying relationships in the development process is important for discovering various developmental processes. The study aimed to investigate the relationship between self-regulation, language, and early academic skills in children aged 60– 72 months. In addition, themediating role of self-regulation and themoderating role of gender in this context were also examined. The study wasmadewith the participation of 363 children and 20 preschool teachers. A personal information formand children’s self-regulation skills formbased on the teachers’ observations were used to collect data. In addition, the Kaufman Survey of Early Academic and Language Skills (K-SEALS) was administered to the children by the researchers. Validity and reliability tests of the data collection tools showed them to be valid and reliable. The study proposed models and hypotheses according to the theoretical framework and related research. The validity of the proposed model was examined according to fit index values. The significance of the model’s hypotheses was determined by path analysis. At the end of the study, the hypotheses tested in line with the proposed model were discussed in light of the literature.
... Unfortunately, early experiences of complex trauma (e.g., child maltreatment) may be related to young children's challenges in preschool, potentially increasing the likelihood of expulsion. Complex trauma, defined as chronic events that begin in early childhood that are often associated with caregivers (Cook et al., 2005), but also related to cultural and racial trauma (Rogers & Bryant-Davis, 2022;Subica & Link, 2022), negatively impact children's socioemotional development (Blair & Ursache, 2011;Shonkoff et al., 2012). Given that 47% of the victims (over 660,000) of maltreatment are under 5 years of age, with approximately 18% being of preschool age (U.S. DHHS, 2020), ECE teachers become an important source of support to help mitigate the self-regulatory problems in children that result from experiencing complex trauma. ...
... The lack of evidence for efficacy and effectiveness of trauma-informed practices may be attributable to mechanisms of change in practice that are not clearly articulated (Purtle, 2018). For example, given the evidence linking early complex trauma on self-regulatory problems (e.g., Author1, 2020; Blair & Raver, 2012;Blair & Ursache, 2011), it may be worth exploring how ECE teachers' attributions and attitudes around children's dysregulated behaviors in the classroom, especially for victims of complex trauma, influence classroom practice. That is, shifting attributions of fault for expulsion from the young child to a more reflective, trauma-informed classroom practice requires an understanding of what ECE teachers bring into the classroom. ...
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Despite the known relationship between trauma and academic outcomes, including expulsion risk, for preschoolers, little is known about the role that teachers may play in addressing the effects of childhood trauma within preschool settings. The current study examined the relationship between a teacher’s overall stress, trauma-informed attitudes, and indicators of children’s expulsion decision risk using a sample of preschool lead and assistant teachers (n = 129) recruited from Head Start classrooms in the Mountain West. Multivariate multiple regression was used to determine whether teachers stress and trauma-informed attitudes (trauma-informed knowledge, self-efficacy, and reactions) were related to three indicators of expulsion decision risk using subscales of the Preschool Expulsion Risk Measure (classroom disruption, fear of accountability, and child-related stress) for the most disruptive child in the teacher’s classroom. Higher overall stress significantly predicted higher fear of accountability (β = 0.26, 95% CI = 0.07, .45, p = 0.007). Higher trauma-informed knowledge was significantly related to lower child-related stress (β = −0.40, 95% CI = −0.63, −.17, p = 0.001). Higher trauma-informed self-efficacy was significantly related to lower classroom disruption (β = −0.45, 95% CI = −0.66, −.25, p < 0.001). Multigroup models revealed significantly different pathways for children of color (Black, Latinx, and American Indian children) compared to White children; teacher stress predicted higher expulsion decision risk for children of color and trauma-informed attitudes predicted lower expulsion decision risk for White children. Implications for development and evaluation of trauma-informed approaches for early childhood settings are discussed.
... Moreover, in this respect, current legal regulations aimed at preventing childhood obesity are limited in their scope. This is due, on the one hand, to the fact that self-regulation is not effective [18,19], and on the other hand, that regulations concerning codes for the dissemination of images in the media and the promotion of other types of activities, such as the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, are relatively lax and ineffective [20][21][22]. ...
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The growing number of children who are obese or overweight in certain countries or geographical areas is a fact, as evidenced by the continuous studies and reports on the subject, endorsed or carried out by the World Health Organisation and independent research. In this context, food and beverage advertising can contribute to this. The main objective of this research is to evaluate compliance with the Food and Drink Advertising Code for Children (PAOS Code) in Spain and its relationship with nutritional habits on television, specifically on channels aimed at children. The methodology is therefore mixed: on the one hand, a qualitative technique based on discourse analysis and, on the other, a quantitative technique based on the content analysis of the advertising broadcast for seven consecutive days on three specialised channels and two generalist channels on Spanish television. The results reveal a systematic noncompliance with this code, which translates into inadequate eating habits among children. The immediate conclusion is that 9 out of 10 parts of food and drink advertising do not comply with any of the rules of the PAOS Code and that self-regulation by the advertising companies is negligible and insufficient.
... EF is defined as the conscious cognitive processes that control goal-oriented thinking, behavior, and emotions in human beings, and as the thinking process used for solving various problems and performing adaptive behaviors in daily life and learning situations. 6 EF generally consists of suppression, cognitive flexibility, and working memory. 7 Suppression is the ability to intentionally control behaviors, thoughts, and responses that are automatically and predominantly performed. ...
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Objective Factors influencing school adaptation of school-aged children include both executive function (EF) and parent–child interaction. This study aims to investigate the developmental trajectory of mother–child interaction longitudinally using latent growth model analysis. Methods A longitudinal descriptive survey study was conducted. The participants comprised of 1,614 mothers and school-aged children, who participated in the Panel Study on Korean Children (6th–8th panel surveys). A model was designed and analyzed using latent growth modeling to estimate the pattern of change over time. Results In the group where the maternal depression was within the normal range, only the path by which the change rate of mother–child interaction affected school adaptation of children was statistically nonsignificant ( t = 1.007, p = 0.314). In the group where maternal depression was mild or higher, only the paths by which the initial value of mother–child interaction affected EF difficulty ( t = −2.75, p = 0.032) and EF difficulty affected school adaptation ( t = −7.876, p < 0.001) were statistically significant. Conclusions This study confirms the research models developed by dividing mother–child interaction into two groups according to depression levels (i.e., normal range and mild or higher-level depression). The findings provide a basis for construction of individualized interventions.
... Emerging research also suggests the possibility that teachers' executive function skills are inversely associated with depression. Executive functions are traditionally conceived of as higher order cognitive processes that enable planning, problem-solving, and goal-directed behavior in everyday life (Blair & Ursache, 2011;Miyake et al., 2000). Higher executive functions are generally associated with a lower incidence of depression (McDermott & Ebmeier, 2009), perhaps because poor cognitive control enables rumination, a central feature of depressive thought (Snyder & Hankin, 2016), but also perhaps because executive function acts as a buffer against stress (Quinn & Joormann, 2020). ...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented strains on both parents and teachers, both of whose mental and financial hardships have serious implications for young children's wellbeing. We drew on an existing cohort study of families with low incomes in Tulsa, OK when children were in their Spring of 1st grade in 2020. We surveyed parents and teachers – children's caregivers on both sides of the screen during distance learning – before and after the COVID-19 pandemic hit and schools were closed. We first compared the proportion of parents and teachers who were depressed and food-insecure before and after the pandemic struck. We then used pre-pandemic characteristics of parents and teachers in separate models to predict their depression and food insecurity during the pandemic. Results showed that rates of depression among both parents and teachers spiked after COVID-19, and food insecurity rates also increased among parents. For both parents and teachers, the strongest predictor of depression during COVID-19 was having experienced depression before the pandemic. Similarly, the strongest predictor of food insecurity during COVID-19 was having experienced food insecurity beforehand. These results point intervention efforts towards identifying the caregivers of children in low-income contexts whose mental and financial wellbeing are likely to be most compromised during this and perhaps future disasters.
... Potential mechanisms underlying environmental links to pubertal timing require further study. These are likely to be both psychological, including attachment relationships (Belsky et al., 1991), reward mechanisms (Belsky, 2012), and executive functioning processes (Blair & Ursache, 2011), and physiological, including hypothalamic-pituitaryadrenal (HPA) axis function (Belsky & Shalev, 2016) and pheromone exposure (Webster et al., 2014). ...
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Pubertal timing may be influenced by typical variations in early family environmental events, but questions remain concerning the roles of specific parenting factors, developmental age of exposure to events, moderation by child temperament, and comparability of effects for girls and boys. This study focused on these questions utilizing longitudinal data from 733 same-sex twins (45% girls) in the U.S.; family context was measured at ages 1–3, 4–5, and 6–7 years and pubertal status was assessed annually via self-report at ages 9–15, enabling estimates of pubertal timing. Home environment at ages 4–5 years predicted pubertal timing better than home environment at other ages for both girls and boys, but parent personality was more predictive than home experiences (e.g., divorce, parental harshness, family conflict). Thus, effects of family environment must be considered within the context of parent characteristics, encouraging caution in implicating early environmental experiences as direct influences on early pubertal timing.
... Ideal conditions for SR (i.e., in situ, temporary change in SR) permit children to sustain attention toward SR-challenging experiences that can promote SR. Looking at Blair and Ursache's [36] bidirectional model, for instance, cognitive control capacities (i.e., executive function) support children's SR in a top-down manner, by controlling attention and thought under conditions of variable levels of arousal/reactivity. These stable capacities are often the targets of SR interventions seeking to change SR ability and related outcomes. ...
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Self-regulation (SR) is considered foundational in early life, with robust evidence demonstrating a link between early self-regulation and longer-term outcomes. This has been the impetus for a growing body of intervention research into how best to support early SR development, yet approaches and effects are diverse, which complicates an understanding of the critical characteristics for effective early SR intervention. Using Self-Determination Theory (SDT) as a guiding framework, we present a scoping review of early SR-intervention research to identify the characteristics of pre-school interventions that show significant and strong effects on young children’s SR. Studies from peer-reviewed journal articles were included if they evaluated a SR intervention with pre-school children, were published between 2010 and 2020, written in English, and included a SR outcome measure. This yielded 19 studies, each reporting the efficacy of a different SR intervention. Results showed that content factors (what interventions do) interacted with their implementation (how, when, and by whom interventions are implemented) to discriminate the more versus less efficacious interventions. Through the lens of SDT, results further suggested that targeting competence through encouragement and feedback, and nurturing children’s autonomy distinguished more from less effective interventions. Relatedness was least able to discriminate intervention efficacy.
... In the Vallotton and Ayoub (2011) study, the 14-month vocabulary level predicts the development of self-regulation two years later, after controlling for the influence of cognitive skills. Self-regulation has also been linked to executive functioning (Blair & Ursache, 2011;Bronson, 2000;Garner, 2009) and motor skills (Becker et al., 2014). Others studies have shown that autonomous behaviours are related to language (Hippolyte et al., 2010;Su et al., 2008), memory (Richardson et al., 1995) and motor skills (Garatachea et al., 2009;Mercier et al., 2001;Netz et al., 2005). ...
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The theory of self-determination considers that both environmental issues (such as the opportunity of choice) and intra-individual factors are correlated or predictive of self-determination. With regard to within-individual factors, some studies have explored the links between intellectual functioning and self-determination in people with Down Syndrome (DS). But the links between self-determination and certain cognitive (memory and language) and motor skills have not been clearly established. In this study, we compared three groups of people with DS ranked according to their self-determination scores with a group of adult controls. The comparison covered various areas of cognitive and motor skills. The results show that the most self-determined individuals with DS have better skills in many areas such as memory, motor and language skills, compared to the least self-determined individuals. The theory of self-determination allows us to interpret our results in terms of the role of the environment (and appropriate environmental supports) in the development of self-determination and through the more frequent achievement of daily activities, in the development of cognitive and motor skills.
... (Tremblay, 2010). (Bernier, Carlson, & Whipple, 2010;Blair & Ursache, 2011). (Valcan, Davis, & Pino-Pasternak, 2018). ...
... Therefore, the core function of EC is the use of attentional processes to regulate one's emotional arousal, motivation, and behaviour. However, as some researchers claim [24][25][26], IC focuses primarily on top-down, volitional control of attention and cognitive self-regulatory processes (slower, relatively more effortful and deliberate), whereas EC includes primarily quick, automatic or nonconscious aspects of emotional reactivity and regulation. Therefore, in our study we adopt the distinction between hot and cool IC, which is rooted in the cognitive approach to self-regulation, and we consider IC from the cognitive perspective, as the core component of EF. ...
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Background The relationship between parent–child attachment and executive function (EF) in middle childhood remains relatively poorly studied. Very little is known about the role that the child’s verbal ability might play in these relationships. Therefore, in the present study, we explored the concurrent links between perceived attachment security with parents and hot and cool inhibitory control (IC)—a core component of EF—as well as the potential mediating role of verbal ability in those links. Methods The participants were 160 children aged 8 to 12 (51% girls). They completed the Attachment Security Scale, the computerised version of the go/no-go task, the delay discounting task, and the vocabulary subtest from the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. Pearson’s correlations were conducted to test relationships between the study variables. A hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis was performed to examine whether attachment security uniquely contributed to the outcomes after accounting for covariates. The indirect effects were tested using a non-parametric resampling bootstrap approach. Results The results showed that, after accounting for the child’s age and sex, there was a direct relationship between attachment security with the father and cool, but not hot, IC. However, there were no significant links between attachment security with the mother and both aspects of IC. We also found that children’s verbal ability played a mediating role in the associations between both child–father and child–mother attachment security and hot, but not cool, IC above and beyond the child’s age. Conclusions The current study extends previous work on executive functions in middle childhood. The results highlight the role of attachment in explaining individual differences in IC in middle childhood as well as the different mechanisms through which attachment with parents might explain cool vs. hot IC. The findings have potential implications for therapeutic interventions using the family context as a target to improve IC in middle childhood.
... Inhibition or inhibitory control is viewed as a common component of EC and EF and a central part of both definitions (Miyake et al., 2000;Rothbart & Bates, 2006). Executive attention is assumed to be a common process of both constructs with executive attention being viewed as the attentional component of EF (Blair & Ursache, 2011), and the executive attention network being assumed to underlie EC (Rothbart et al., 2007). ...
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Temperamental effortful control (EC) and executive functions (EF) are two frameworks for studying self-regulation in children. Despite stemming from different research traditions, they show many conceptual and theoretical similarities and their corresponding tasks are often used interchangeably. However, little is known about how and whether the two constructs can be distinguished empirically. The present study aimed to contribute to the investigation of this issue. A sample of 230 preschool children aged 4–6 years were tested with two common behavioral EC tasks and an EC questionnaire. Furthermore, the assessment included common measures of the three subcomponents of EF, namely inhibition, working memory, and shifting. Data were analyzed using correlational and confirmatory factor analyses. In accordance with our hypotheses, we found significant positive correlations between most EC and EF measures, and a single factor model, in which all EC and EF tasks loaded significantly on the underlying factor, was supported by our results. Moreover, this latent construct generalized across gender and age. These findings show that the variety of common EC and EF tasks used in this study all seem to tap similar aspects of self-regulation and therefore support an integrated model of self-regulation encompassing EC and EF. Our results are further considered to be informative for future research using different EC and EF tasks.
... While cognitive self-regulation (also called executive functioning) (Fuhs et al., 2013) is necessary for problem-solving and related abilities (Bodrova & Leong, 2006). Cognitive self-regulation includes working memory, cognitive or attentional flexibility, and inhibitory control elements (Blair, 2016). According to Diamond (2013), cognitive flexibility enables one to make adaptations to changing demands or priorities, accepting being wrong, and taking advantage of immediate and unexpected opportunities. ...
... Self-regulation, defined as volitional control of attention, behavior, and executive functions for the purposes of goal-directed action (Blair & Ursache, 2011), is associated with multiple school-related outcomes (Calkins, S. D., Howse, R. B., & Philippot, 2004;A. Diamond & Lee, 2011;McClelland & Tominey, 2011). ...
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This Campbell systematic review examines the evidence on the effectiveness of the Tools of the Mind curriculum in promoting children?s self‐regulation and academic skills, in order to inform its implementation in schools. The participants included students of all ages, gender, ethnicity, special education status, language‐learning status, and socio‐economic status. The review summarizes findings from 14 records across six studies conducted in the USA. The Tools curriculum significantly improved children?s math skills relative to comparison curricula, but the effect size was small. There are also shortcomings in the quality of evidence. Although the average effect sizes for self‐regulation and literacy favored tools compared to other approaches, the effect was not statistically significant. The evidence from the small number of included studies is mostly consistent with the evidence observed for other similar programs, but again the evidence is weak. The results for the outcome measures were not statistically significant. Plain language summary The Tools of the Mind curriculum improves self‐regulation and academic skills in early childhood The Tools of the Mind early childhood curriculum appear to improve children's self‐regulation and academic skills. The assessment of the tools curriculum is hampered by a lack of rigorous evidence and more research is necessary to corroborate this finding. What did the review study? Tools of the Mind (Tools) is an early childhood education curriculum, which involves structured make‐believe play scenarios and a series of other curricular activities. Tools aims to promote and improve children's self‐regulation and academic skills by having a dual focus on self‐regulation and other social‐emotional skills in educational contexts. This review examines the evidence on the effectiveness of Tools in promoting children's self‐regulation and academic skills, in order to inform its implementation in schools. What is the aim of this review? This Campbell systematic review examines the evidence on the effectiveness of the Tools of the Mind curriculum in promoting children's self‐regulation and academic skills, in order to inform its implementation in schools. The participants included students of all ages, gender, ethnicity, special education status, language‐learning status, and socio‐economic status. The review summarizes findings from 14 records across six studies conducted in the USA. What studies are included? Included studies had to have used randomized controlled trials or quasi‐experimental studies and reported on one or more quantitative effect sizes regarding tools’ effectiveness in self‐regulatory or academic domains. A total of 14 records across six studies were included in the review. The participants included students of all ages, gender, ethnicity, special education status, language learning status, and socio‐economic status. The studies included measured at least one of four primary outcomes and did not measure any secondary outcome. Studies that compared Tools with a business‐as‐usual or another intervention were included in the review. All included studies were conducted in the USA. What are the main results of the review? The Tools curriculum significantly improved children's math skills relative to comparison curricula, but the effect size was small. There are also shortcomings in the quality of evidence. Although the average effect sizes for self‐regulation and literacy favored tools compared to other approaches, the effect was not statistically significant. The evidence from the small number of included studies is mostly consistent with the evidence observed for other similar programs, but again the evidence is weak. The results for the outcome measures were not statistically significant. What do the findings of this review mean? Generally, the Tools curriculum seems to improve children's self‐regulation and academic skills. However, given the small number of included studies, as well as other methodological shortcomings, such as the high risk of bias in some of the included studies, this conclusion should be read with caution. While there is doubt as to the validity of the findings, tools’ educational approach seems to be consistent with many child developmental theories and as such, should not be ruled out. There is a need to conduct more high quality research, especially about studies focused on demonstrating tools’ effectiveness in promoting children's self‐regulation skills. How up‐to‐date is this review? The review authors searched for studies published up to December 2016. This Campbell Systematic Review was published in October 2017. Executive Summary/Abstract BACKGROUND Tools of the Mind (Tools) is an early childhood education curriculum that aims to simultaneously promote children's self‐regulation and academic skills. Given the increasing focus on self‐regulation and other social‐emotional skills in educational contexts, Tools has become increasingly implemented in classrooms around the United States, Canada, and Chile. Despite its growing popularity, Tools’ evidence base remains mixed. OBJECTIVES The aim of this review is to synthesize the evidence on the effectiveness of the Tools program in promoting children's self‐regulation and academic skills. SEARCH METHODS The systematic search was conducted from October 21 through December 3, 2016. The search yielded 176 titles and abstracts, 25 of them deemed potentially relevant. After full‐text screening, 14 reports from six studies were eligible for inclusion. SELECTION CRITERIA In order to be included, a study must have had one or more quantitative effect sizes regarding Tools’ effectiveness in the self‐regulatory or academic domains. Moreover, the study must have employed statistical mechanisms to control for potential confounds. Studies that compared Tools with a business‐as‐usual or another intervention were eligible for inclusion, whereas studies that did not pertain to the Tools curriculum were excluded. The reports, whether published or unpublished, could come from any national context, language, student population, or time period as long as the conditions outlined above were met. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS All included studies classified as randomized controlled trials, though, again, quasi‐experimental studies had been eligible for inclusion. Each included study yielded effect sizes in the form of standardized mean differences. The outcomes of interest included assessor‐reported self‐regulation skills (e.g., teachers or parents rating children's self‐regulation), task‐based self‐regulation skills (e.g., children performing a self‐regulation task on a computer and receiving a score), literacy skills, and math skills. All effect sizes were interpreted as Tools’ effect relative to other business‐as‐usual programs or other interventions. RESULTS The evidence indicated statistically significant benefits for Tools children on the math pooled effect size. The other pooled effect sizes for self‐regulation and literacy favored Tools but did not reach statistical significance. AUTHORS’ CONCLUSIONS The results indicate positive yet small effects for the Tools program. Three of the four pooled effect sizes did not reach statistical significance, but all four pooled effect sizes favored Tools. The small number of included studies reduced power, which could explain the lack of statistical significance across three of the four outcome measures. By contrast, it is also possible that Tools either does not substantially influence children's self‐regulation or that the influence is too small to be detected with the current evidence base. Background
... Child Executive Functioning EF encompasses processes such as inhibitory control, working memory, and attention shifting, which underlie an individual's capacity to act in a goal-directed manner and to suppress basic reactionary responses in pursuit of that goal (Blair & Ursache, 2011;Hendry et al., 2016). A closely related temperament construct, effortful control, is defined as "the efficiency of executive attention, including the ability to inhibit a dominant response, to activate a subdominant response, to plan, and to detect errors" (Rothbart & Bates, 2006, p. 129). ...
Article
Understanding the role of negative emotionality in the development of executive functioning (EF) and language skills can help identify developmental windows that may provide promising opportunities for intervention. In addition, because EF and language skills are, in part, genetically influenced, intergenerational transmission patterns are important to consider. The prospective parent-offspring adoption design used in this study provides a unique opportunity to examine the intergenerational transmission of EF and language skills. Participants were 561 children adopted around the time of birth. Accounting for birth mother EF and language contributions, we examined the role of child negative emotionality in toddlerhood (age 9 to 27 months) and childhood (age 4.5 to 7 years) on child EF and language skills in first grade (age 7 years). There was continuity in EF from age 27 months to 7 years, and in language ability from age 27 months to 7 years, with no cross-lagged effects between child EF and language ability. Negative emotionality at age 9 months predicted lower EF and lower language abilities at age 7 years, and growth in negative emotionality from age 4.5 to 7 years predicted lower child EF at age 7 years. Overall, findings suggested that lower negative emotionality at age 9 months was associated with higher toddler and child EF and language skills and that preventing growth in negative emotionality from age 4.5 to 7 years may lead to improvements in child EF. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
... Las funciones ejecutivas son habilidades cognitivas de orden superior que permiten el control voluntario de la atención, las emociones y el comportamiento, por lo que son claves para la auto-regulación (Blair & Ursache, 2011;Calkins & Marcovitch, 2010;Diamond, 2013;Müller & Kerns, 2015). En la infancia, las principales funciones ejecutivas son el control inhibitorio, que permite la inhibición de una respuesta dominante en favor de otra más apropiada; la memoria de trabajo, que favorece mantener información o instrucciones mentalmente y trabajar con ella; y la flexibilidad cognitiva, que capacita a cambiar perspectivas y adaptarse con flexibilidad a reglas o requerimientos cambiantes (Diamond, 2013;Garon et al., 2008). ...
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El acogimiento familiar es una medida especialmente compleja dentro del sistema de protección de menores, en la que un menor que debe ser separado de sus padres biológicos pasa a ser cuidado por otra familia, ya sea temporal o permanentemente, sin perder los lazos con su familia biológica. En esta disertación nos planteamos avanzar en uno de los retos actuales en la investigación en acogimiento familiar, la variabilidad en la adaptación y el desarrollo de los niños y niñas en acogimiento familiar. La conceptualización del desarrollo como un proceso acumulativo, jerárquico y transaccional, y de cómo éste se ve afectado por la adversidad hace que el estudio de tres mecanismos subyacentes entre la adversidad y adaptación se perfile como una dirección fructífera para avanzar en este reto. En concreto, nos centramos en las funciones ejecutivas, la comprensión de las emociones y las representaciones de apego. Además, este tipo de investigación resulta especialmente útil para el desarrollo de intervenciones basadas en la evidencia con esta población. Para abordar el reto mencionamos, en la disertación analizamos estos tres mecanismos psicológicos en menores en acogimiento familiar, cómo son afectados por la adversidad, la variabilidad en adaptación positiva entre los menores, y planteamos un modelo de intervención basado en la evidencia dirigido a niños y niñas que han sufrido adversidad temprana. Los resultados han mostrado que algo más de uno de cada cuatro menores en acogimiento familiar parece presentar dificultades importantes en sus funciones ejecutivas o en su adaptación a diferentes contextos. También parece que las representaciones mentales de las relaciones afectivas y de sí mismos en los niños y niñas en acogimiento familiar, y especialmente en aquellos que han sufrido un maltrato severo, están más marcadas por la desconfianza, la evitación o la falta de expectativas positivas que en las de niños y niñas que no han sufrido adversidad. No obstante, hemos encontrado también una gran variabilidad en la adaptación de los menores en acogimiento familiar, con uno de cada tres presentando una buena adaptación tanto en sus relaciones sociales, como en la escuela y en su salud mental. Los resultados de los diferentes estudios que forman parte de esta tesis doctoral aportan varias contribuciones originales al conocimiento, con implicaciones tanto para la investigación como para la intervención en este campo. Entre ellas cabe destacar la necesidad diferencial de intervención de los menores en acogimiento, el apoyo a sus capacidades de auto-regulación o a su recuperación en términos de representaciones de apego, y la importancia de avanzar en la intervención desde la evidencia científica.
... Based on existing related work (Hinnant & El-Sheikh, 2009;Holzman & Bridgett, 2017), we hypothesize that children who delay the full task time will exhibit high levels of baseline/initial RSA that reach a nadir through the task, coupled with stability in HR during the task, compared to children who do not delay the full task time. Previous research and theory suggest that an interaction between impulsigenic and volitional capacities can explain how anticipatory/attention deployment, non-verbal, and verbal behaviors come together to regulate impulses (Blair, 2002;Blair & Ursache, 2011;Cole et al., 2017Cole et al., , 2019McGuire & Kable, 2013). As such, we hypothesize that children who can employ behavioral SC strategies to mitigate their level of anticipation toward the reward will be able to delay gratification, compared to children who are driven by their anticipation. ...
Article
Children continually encounter situations where they must regulate impulsive responses to achieve a goal, requiring both self‐control (SC) and delay of gratification. We examined concurrent behavioral SC strategies (fidgeting, vocalizations, anticipation) and physiological regulation (heart rate [HR], respiratory sinus arrhythmia [RSA]) in 126 children (M (SD) = 5.4 (0.29) years) during a standard delay of gratification task. Latent variable models derived latent SC classes and examined the moderating role of HR/RSA on SC and delay ability. Three classes of SC were identified: passive: low fidgeting and vocalizations, moderate anticipation; active: moderate fidgeting, low vocalizations, and high anticipation; and disruptive: moderate fidgeting, high vocalizations, and high anticipation. Children in the active class had the lowest odds of delaying full task time, compared to children in the passive (OR = 0.67, z = −5.25, p < .001) and disruptive classes (OR = 0.76, z = −2.03, p = .04). RSA changes during the task moderated the relationship between SC class and delay ability for children in the active class (aOR = 0.92, z = −3.1, p < .01). Within the group who struggled to delay gratification (active class), a subset exhibiting appropriate autonomic regulation was able to delay. The findings suggest probing congruency of observed behavioral and unobserved physiological regulation.
... Theoretical models integrating the two key components of self-regulation-executive functioning (EF) and emotion regulation-have been described specifically in application to school-based intervention (Bailey & Jones, 2019;Ursache et al., 2012). Inhibitory control is a specific aspect of EF that enables constraint of an automatic response in favor of a subdominant response which is critical for behavioral adjustment of young children (Blair & Ursache, 2011), warranting specific focus for intervention. ...
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Several mental health programs have been developed in clinics and transported into schools, which has great potential for increasing access to intervention for students who may not be otherwise served. However, such programs may lack consideration of the complexity and constraints of schools, including the diversity of student needs and backgrounds, raising questions about their effectiveness in this context. This study evaluates the efficacy an evidence-based clinical program—the Incredible Years® Dina Dinosaur School small group treatment program—under such realistic conditions. A total of 138 first- and second-grade students identified as having self-regulation difficulties were randomized to Business as Usual or intervention, which included delivery of 34 group and 12 individual recess coaching sessions over 6 months, teacher consultation and in-service presentations, and three parent workshops. Multi-method outcome measures were collected before and after the intervention and at 6-month follow-up, evaluating self-regulation, disruptive behavior, social competence, and academic proficiency. The results indicated few significant main effects and consistently small effect sizes. Effects were generally larger for self-regulation and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) outcomes as well as for students at risk for ODD; however, meaningful improvement on functional school outcomes was limited. Findings suggest less impact than clinic-based delivery which typically includes a parent program component, although reduced effects may also be related to lower fidelity in some of the child groups. The results contribute to understanding transportability and have useful implications for school mental health programming.
... Self-regulation is "the primarily volitional management of arousal or activity in attention, emotion, and stress response systems in ways that facilitate the use of executive function abilities in the service of goal-directed actions" (Ursache et al., 2012, p.123). As such, executive functions are "cognitive aspects of selfregulation that are engaged for the purposes of the effortful processing of information and intentional top down control of behavior" (Blair & Ursache, 2011). Threat activates a neurobiological system that supports monitoring the environment to identify both real and perceived threats at the cost of taking attention away from other, nonthreatening stimuli (Posner & Rothbart, 2000). ...
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Many children in immigrant households endure unique stressors shaped by national, state, and local immigration policies and enforcement activity in the United States. Qualitative studies find that during times of heightened immigration enforcement, children as young as 3 years of age show signs of behavioral distress related to national anti-immigrant sentiment and the possibility of losing a parent. Using multiple sources of data from 168 racially and ethnically diverse families of children in pre-Kindergarten, the present study examined variability in perceived levels of immigration enforcement threat by parental immigrant status and ethnicity. This study examined associations between immigration enforcement threat and child mental health, self-regulation, and executive functioning and whether parent immigrant status or child gender moderates these associations. We found substantial variability in perceived immigration threat, with immigrant parents and Latinx parents reporting significantly greater levels of immigration threat compared to nonimmigrant parents and non-Latinx parents. Immigration enforcement threat was associated with greater child separation anxiety and overanxious behaviors, and lower self-regulation among boys and girls and among children of immigrant and U.S.-born parents. In contrast to our hypothesis, immigration enforcement threat was associated with higher self-regulation according to independent assessor ratings. Educators and healthcare providers working with young children from immigrant and Latinx households should be aware of the disproportionate stress experienced by immigrant and Latinx families due to a xenophobic sociopolitical climate marked by heightened immigration enforcement threat and racist, anti-immigrant rhetoric. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
... As academic leaders tend to be at the margin of their executive functions in terms of their working memory, emotional regulation, inhibition, material organization, there is a greater chance of achieving stronger interpersonal relationships, decision-making and judgment, and initiative and imagination. From a theoretical process, the decision-making practice could be seen as a constant cycle incorporated into contact with the environment while from a conceptual point of view, the identification of specific judgments involves the essence of decision-making and justification and the relativistic option that corresponds to it [55], [56]. At yet another stage, it could be seen as a problem-solving operation that concludes when a suitable result is obtained [57], [58]. ...
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Executive functions enable an individual to initiate and stop actions, track and modify behavior, and plan imminent behavior when faced with specific tasks and circumstances. This study, therefore, identified a connection between the executive functions and management efficacy of academic leaders of a State University in the Philippines. The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version was used in a correlation analysis to gauge the executive functions of academic leaders and a researcher-made questionnaire was administered to determine their management efficacy. The study was conducted using t-scores, means, and Pearson r. The stronger the potential of academic leaders to carry out their management skills, the more their emotional regulation leans towards the borderline. As academic leaders' management skills become remarkable, the more they are predisposed to functioning on their own initiative and can control their actions in the light of the circumstances. Further, when academic leaders normally conduct change, self-monitoring, initiation, planning/organization, and task monitoring functions, they exemplify outstanding performance in their communication skills, adaptability, interpersonal relationships, and initiative, and imagination. But when their working memory, cognitive control, inhibition, and arrangement of materials is at the borderline, better interpersonal relationships, decision-making and judgment, and initiative and imagination are achieved.
... Self-regulation in early childhood involves top-down cognitive processes, including executive function, and bottom-up automatic regulatory processes, such as emotion regulation (Blair and Ursache, 2011). Because of its multidimensional nature, the field has wrestled with understanding the conceptual and theoretical structure of self-regulation as it relates to other similar terms and skills (Jones et al., 2016;Morrison and Grammer, 2016). ...
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In the present study, we examined the extent to which teacher-rated self-regulation and directly assessed executive function skills were independently, additively, or synergistically related to academic achievement during the transition to kindergarten. The sample included 126 children (42% female; M age = 4.73 years) from families with low incomes who participated in a larger evaluation of state-funded preschool. Regression models with children nested in their respective preschool classrooms investigated main effects and moderated effects of teacher-rated self-regulation skills manifested in preschool classroom behaviors and cognitive executive function skills assessed through direct assessments on math, literacy, and vocabulary in the spring of preschool and in the fall of kindergarten. Results revealed independent but not additive relations between executive function and math in the spring of preschool and self-regulation and literacy in the fall of kindergarten. One significant interaction emerged providing evidence for synergistic relations between teacher-rated self-regulation and directly assessed executive function for literacy at both timepoints across the transition to kindergarten. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.
... In a recent study, findings suggested children's self-regulatory and cognitive skills are concurrently developing and that engaging in early cognitive activities is beneficial for self-regulation development and vice versa (Cameron et al., 2019). Thus, the bidirectional nature of self-regulation and emergent math and literacy skills may pose a challenge in detecting this sequential pathway with specificity (Blair & Ursache, 2011;McClelland et al., 2010). Knowing more about the context of each child's breastfeeding exposure (e.g., frequency, duration, quality of the parent-child relationship) as well as reasons why children were not exposed to breastfeeding (e.g., child or family special needs or health challenges) might strengthen future studies. ...
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Objectives The importance of breastfeeding exposure and children’s development of self-regulation, independently, are well established. Each of these domains also has been linked to better cognitive development and academic achievement in children. However, little is known about how breastfeeding affects development of early self-regulation skills or whether self-regulation mediates the relationship between breastfeeding and academic achievement, particularly for disadvantaged children. This study examined breastfeeding exposure, self-regulation, and academic achievement in kindergarten among a population of children who previously attended Head Start. Methods Children were recruited from Head Start classrooms in the Pacific Northwest. Breastfeeding exposure was assessed via parent report. Children’s self-regulation (Day Night Stroop, Dimensional Change Card Sort, Head-Knees-Toes-Shoulders-Revised) and academic achievement [Letter-Word Identification and Applied Problems subtests of Woodcock Johnson Tests of Achievement (English) or the Batería III Woodcock-Muñoz (Spanish)] were directly assessed in fall and spring of kindergarten. Regressions were performed using Stata v14.1 and included breastfeeding exposure as the primary independent variable, controlling for child age, sex, and language spoken. Results Of the 246 children, 56% were reported as White, 34% Latino/a, 4% African American, and 6% other; 83% were ever exposed to breastfeeding. Breastfeeding exposure was predictive of both fall kindergarten academic achievement (emergent math/literacy scores) and self-regulation (p < 0.05) and related to higher math performance in the spring of kindergarten, which was associated with stronger self-regulation in the fall (p = 0.04). Conclusions These findings extend our understanding of the positive effects of breastfeeding exposure on children’s development and support breastfeeding promotion, particularly for children at risk of academic difficulty.
... This region plays a major role in the regulation of self-regulation (Posner et al., 2007), the key domain implicated in the ontogeny of antisocial behavior (Gardner et al., 2008;Trentacosta and Shaw, 2009;Gillespie et al., 2018), as well as in the role of G×E interactions in PSU (Vaughn et al., 2009). The effects of MAOA on ACC activation patterns are sex-dimorphic; specifically, MAOA-L male and MAOA-H female carriers with a history of early stress display impairments in the activation of the ACC in response inhibition (Holz et al., 2016), a process directly related to self-regulation (Posner and Rothbart, 1998;Blair and Ursache, 2011;Hofmann et al., 2012). It should be noted that functional deficits of the ACC are associated with a reduction in inhibitory control (Bush et al., 2000;Chan et al., 2011), as well as a facilitation of ventral striatal responses to incentive stimuli, which in turn increases drug use propensity (Holmes et al., 2016;Koyama et al., 2017). ...
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The perinatal temporal window is a highly vulnerable time in which environmental factors, such as nutrients, drugs, infections, chemicals, and stress, experienced by the mother can be communicated to the offspring and produce lasting consequences on the new-born brain, thus contributing the evolutionary origin of non-communicable neuropsychiatric diseases. Most of these disorders are preventable, since they are due to modifiable risk factors such as lifestyle and the environment.
... As shown in Figure 1, we define self-regulation as a hierarchical integrated system in which executive function is the cognitive component at the highest level of integrated model (see Blair, 2014;Blair and Raver, 2015 for earlier versions of this figure). The first author has expounded on this model in several publications (Blair, 2010(Blair, , 2014Blair and Ursache, 2011;Raver, 2012, 2015). In its mature form, we can use executive function to regulate thinking, to regulate emotion, to regulate behavior, and to regulate physiology. ...
Article
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We present a hierarchical integrated model of self-regulation in which executive function is the cognitive component of the model, together with emotional, behavioral, physiological, and genetic components. These five components in the model are reciprocally and recursively related. The model is supported by empirical evidence, primarily from a single longitudinal study with good measurement at each level of the model. We also find that the model is consistent with current thinking on related topics such as cybernetic theory, the theory of allostasis and allostatic load, and the theory of skill development in harsh and unpredictable environments, referred to as “hidden talents.” Next, we present literature that the integrative processes are susceptible to environmental adversity, poverty-related risk in particular, while positive social interactions with caregivers (e.g., maternal sensitivity) would promote self-regulatory processes or mitigate the adverse effect of early risk on the processes. A hierarchical integrative model of self-regulation advances our understanding of self-regulatory processes. Future research may consider broader social contexts of the integrative self-regulation system, such as neighborhood/community contexts and structural racism. This can be an integral step to provide children with equitable opportunities to thrive, even among children living in socioeconomically and psychosocially disadvantaged environments.
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La capacità di controllare la propria risposta ai cambiamenti interni o esterni, definita con il termine «autoregolazione», è di primaria importanza per tutto il corso della vita e comporta un lento processo di completamento della durata di oltre due decenni. Questo lavoro si propone di descrivere l’emergere dell’autoregolazione, individuarne i meccanismi cognitivi sottostanti e osservare la loro evoluzione dalla nascita all’adolescenza. Inoltre, i disturbi della regolazione del processamento sensoriale verranno proposti come possibili manifestazioni precoci di alcuni disturbi dello sviluppo, quali l’autismo e il disturbo di attenzione e iperattività.
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Purpose This study compared attention control and flexibility in school-age children who stutter (CWS) and children who do not stutter (CWNS) based on their performance on a behavioral task and parent report. We used a classic attention-shifting paradigm that included manipulations of task goals and timing to test effects of varying demands for flexibility on switching accuracy and speed. We also examined associations between task performance, group, and relevant aspects of temperament. Method Participants included 33 children (15 CWS, 18 CWNS) between 8 and 11 years of age. Children sorted stimuli that differed on two dimensions (color and shape) based on sorting rules that varied from block to block or trial to trial. Timing manipulations included intervals of 200-, 600-, or 1,200-ms durations for critical trial components. Temperament data were obtained via the Children's Behavior Questionnaire. Results All children showed expected performance costs in response to block and trial manipulations; however, CWS were more affected by task conditions that increased demands for cognitive flexibility. Effects of interval durations also differed by group. Factor scores on the Children's Behavior Questionnaire indicated differences in effortful control between groups; however, this aspect of temperament did not mediate between-groups differences in switching performance. Conclusions Findings suggest that stuttering continues to be associated with differences in attention control and flexibility beyond the preschool years. Further research is needed to clarify how these cognitive processes shape the development of stuttering throughout childhood.
Article
The present study used data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Cohort of 2011 (N = 15,827; 51.1% male; 48.4% White, 13.5% Black/African-American, 24.3% Hispanic/Latinx, 7.5% Asian, and 6.3% other ethnicity) to examine the unique contribution of specific executive function processes (working memory and cognitive flexibility) at kindergarten entry on externalizing and internalizing behavior problems in spring of kindergarten, after controlling for fall behavior problems and demographic covariates. Due to the transition to elementary school being a critical identification and prevention period, we also focused on examining the moderating role of specific positive parenting practices (i.e., cognitive stimulation, warmth, and behavior management) on associations between child executive function processes and behavioral functioning. Results indicated working memory was negatively associated with parent-reported externalizing and teacher-rated internalizing behavior problems. Further, the association between working memory and parent-rated externalizing problems was moderated by cognitive stimulation, whereas the association between parent-rated internalizing problems was moderated by behavior management. Cognitive flexibility did not have any significant associations. We discuss implications for research and practice on how parenting practices may be leveraged to improve child outcomes.
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Executive attention is a function involved in the regulation of thoughts, emotions, responses, distractions, problem solving and switching between multiple pieces of information. It has the ability to control attention for ongoing cognitive processes such as decision-making, cognitive control, language processing, and social cognitive processes which get influenced through components of working memory. Various executive attention skills emerge with the maturation of frontal brain structures as the executive attention is mainly located in the prefrontal cortex. Understanding early stages of development of a child can help in their academic and professional outcomes, socialization and psychological well-being. But at the same time, damage to the frontal lobes, can affect the role of executive attention in the control of thought, behaviour, and emotion. This paper aims at providing a selective review of the existing literature about the development of executive attention, functions of attentional network and its role in learning, working memory and performance.
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This study investigated the potential effects of teachers’ participation and perceptions in a self-regulation promotion program for children. Participants were 10 teachers and their early childhood education classes (total of 189 children) of two public schools located in central São Paulo. The experimental group (EG) was composed of five teachers, who were trained and applied self-regulation activities with their classes throughout the year. The teachers and the five other classes formed the control group (CG) which maintained their regular curricular activities. The fieldwork took place over the course of 1 year, through four stages: pre-test, teachers’ training, intervention, and post-test. Pre- and post-test teachers’ assessment included measures of self-regulation, stress, and classroom observation. In addition, they were also interviewed in the post-test. Despite the limitation of quantitative data, EG teachers showed greater decrease in the stress level between the pre- and post-tests than controls (with ES r = .68). There were no significant group effects on self-regulation promoting behaviors in the classroom and self-regulation of the teachers. The EG teachers reported benefits of the intervention for the children and for themselves. Looking at variables of the teachers who delivered the intervention is an original aspect of the paper and the trends found encourage and direct future research. Knowledge about self-regulation should be incorporated into the training and practice of these professionals.
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This longitudinal study explored the contributions of early relational contexts to the development of children's executive function in first grade. Three proximal relational contexts in early childhood were examined, including parent-child, teacher-child, and peer interactions. At 36 months, children (N = 1364) were observed to interact with their parents, teachers, and peers. Executive function was assessed in first grade with tasks and standardized tests. Results showed that positive early parent-child and teacher-child interactions, but not peer interaction, were independently associated with children's subsequent executive function in first grade. Moreover, the associations between early relational contexts and later executive function were comparable for boys and girls. Findings thus highlighted the unique contributions of early childhood proximal relational contexts to understanding the development of EF over time.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the academic progress and wellbeing of many students, resulting in a greater sense of hopelessness and despair. These consequences are particularly devastating for many children living in urban communities, where poverty and a lack of resources prevent them from accessing high-quality learning, health care, and social programs. To understand the enormity of the problems associated with the growing hopelessness of our school-aged children, this article describes the factors affecting hope, how schools can foster hope, the skills and mindsets educators need to instill hope, and the positive outcomes of producing more hopeful students.
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Though prior research has examined the links between executive function (EF) – the higher order cognitive processes involved in self-regulation – and academic achievement, and between teacher–child relationships and academic achievement, few studies have examined the extent to which EF, teacher–child conflict, and academic achievement are related. The present study explores the longitudinal, bidirectional relations among direct assessments of children’s EF and early reading and math achievement and teacher-reports of relationship closeness and conflict with target children. Data were collected with N = 759 children in fall and spring of kindergarten and in fall of first grade. The results confirm bidirectional associations between EF and math achievement. Moreover, the study finds that conflict with teachers predicts EF and reading achievement, but not math achievement, though the relations are not bidirectional.
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Exposure to interpersonal violence during childhood, a severe and often traumatic form of social stress, is an enduring problem that an emerging body of work suggests may be relevant to cardiometabolic health and the progression of cardiovascular disease (CVD) across the life course. Less is known about this association causally, and consequently, the biological mechanisms that may confer risk for, and resilience to, poor health outcomes in the aftermath of violence are not well understood. Drawing on recent theoretical insights and empirical research in both humans and non-human animal models, the current paper articulates a hypothesis for one way that childhood violence could get "under the skin" to influence CVD. Based on this emerging literature, one plausible way that childhood violence exposure could increase susceptibility to CVD in later life is by sensitizing stress-response neurobiology and immune processes that regulate and promote inflammation, which is a key pathogenic mechanism in CVD. This is inherently a developmental process that begins in early life and that unfolds across the life course, although less is known about the specific mechanisms through which this occurs. The goal of this paper is to articulate some of these plausible mechanisms and to suggest areas for future research that aims to reduce the burden of disease among individuals who are exposed to violence.
Chapter
Dieses Kapitel beleuchtet Emotionsregulation (ER) aus einer neurowissenschaftlichen Perspektive. Welche Hirnstrukturen sind an der ER beteiligt? Wie arbeiten diese zusammen? Und wie ist der zeitliche Verlauf? Der Fokus dieses Kapitels liegt darauf, den aktuellen Stand der Forschung zu neuronalen Korrelaten der ER verständlich zu beschreiben. Weiterhin wird herausgearbeitet, welche Bedeutung diese neurowissenschaftlichen Ergebnisse für unser Wissen rund um die ER haben – auch in Hinblick auf psychische Störungen und Wohlbefinden.
Chapter
In diesem Kapitel wird weiter auf die Schnittstelle zwischen Kognition und Emotion und Emotion eingegangen, mit dem Fokus auf kognitiver Kontrolle und Langzeitgedächtnis-(LZG-)Prozessen. Wie beeinflussen Kognition und Emotion bzw. Emotionsregulation (ER) sich gegenseitig? Welche Bedeutung hat kognitive Kontrolle für die ER? Wie hängen verstärktes Grübeln, depressive Symptome und LZG-Prozesse zusammen? Obwohl es sich hier um ein relativ junges Forschungsfeld handelt, gibt es erste interessante Hinweise dafür, dass kognitive Prozesse und ER miteinander assoziiert sind. Im ersten Teil (8.1) werden Ergebnisse vorgestellt, welche den Zusammenhang zwischen ER und den drei Komponenten Updating (Arbeitsgedächtnisaktualisierung), Inhibition und Shifting der kognitiven Kontrolle beleuchten. Im zweiten Teil (8.2) werden Studien diskutiert, welche sich mit dem Zusammenhang zwischen emotionalen bzw. emotionsregulatorischen und LZG-Prozessen beschäftigen. Da dysfunktionale ER, beeinträchtigte kognitive Kontrolle bzw. veränderte Gedächtnisinhalte und -leistungen zentral für viele psychische Störungen sind, ist die weitere Erforschung dieser Zusammenhänge grundlegend für unser Verständnis von Psychopathologie.
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Self-regulation is a multidimensional construct that is positively related to academic achievement, such as successful mathematics performance. However, this relation of self-regulation and mathematics performance has mainly been investigated in Western countries with similar cultural contexts, although self-regulation is assumed to be context-sensitive. Therefore, the present study investigated the relation of self-regulation and mathematics performance across two different countries (Germany vs. Iran) in college students. The relation of self-regulation and mathematics performance was expected to be weaker in students of math-related fields, such as Engineering/Informatics, as they are assumed to need less self-regulation to solve the mathematics problems than students of less math-related fields, such as Human Sciences. In total, 122 undergraduate students (German = 60; Iranian = 62) of Human Sciences or Engineering/Informatics participated in this study. We measured self-regulation with the Brief Self-Control Scale (Tangney et al., 2004) and mathematics performance with a complex multiplication test. Results showed that self-regulation did not predict multiplication performance in German or Iranian students, in general. However, when the field of study was considered, self-regulation predicted multiplication performance in the subgroup of German and Iranian students studying Human Sciences within each country. We conclude that cultural context does not seem to play a dominant role in moderating the relation between self-regulation and math performance, however, field of study and more generally familiarity with math may be an important factor to consider in single or cross-cultural studies.
Article
The study examines (a) whether gestational age relates to parental scaffolding (SCA), when controlling for child cognitive development, parenting stress, and socioeconomic status, and (b) how SCA links to parent–child problem-solving performance. The sample included 142 parents with a full-term or preterm 2-year-old toddler (corrected age). Parents’ SCA during one of two (randomly assigned) problem-solving tasks was rated on five scales (use of SCA means, cognitive support, metacognitive support, transfer or responsibility, contingency management). The results suggest that gestational age is positively related to parents’ transfer of responsibility and metacognitive support. The effects decrease, however, once covariates are controlled for. Regarding the problem-solving performance, direct effects were observed from parents’ cognitive and metacognitive support, transfer of responsibility, and contingency management. The data also confirm an indirect effect of parents’ use of SCA means on the problem-solving performance, partially mediated via parents’ cognitive support. Implications for the design of interventions are discussed.
Article
Background Children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) have been found to demonstrate low performance in Executive Functions (EFs). However, the evidence-based data is so far scarce, especially for 4–5-year-old children. Most of the existing research involves English-speaking populations, while very few studies have been carried out with non-English-speaking populations. Nevertheless, it is documented that possible differences in the language-cognition relations may exist due to the specific characteristics of each language, and studies across different languages could contribute to the above. Aims The present study aimed to systematically investigate the profile of oral language and EF skills (verbal and nonverbal) and the way these skills are related with each other in 4–5-year-old Greek-speaking children with and without DLD. Methods and procedures Fifty-three 4–5-year-old children (age range: 51– 57 months) with DLD, and 62 Typically Developing (TD) peers (age range: 51– 57 months) were assessed on a standardized psychometric battery for oral language skills (phonological and morphological awareness, oral language comprehension, vocabulary knowledge, narrative speech and pragmatics) and on a series of verbal (v) and nonverbal (nv) tasks tapping EFs skills (updating-accuracy, inhibition –accuracy and reaction time-, and cognitive flexibility). Outcomes and results Children with DLD demonstrated statistically significant lower performance across all oral language measures in comparison to their TD peers. Additionally, they performed significantly lower in the updating (nv) task, as well as in cognitive flexibility (v & nv) in comparison to the TD group. Further regression analyses demonstrated that updating (nv), inhibition (nv) and cognitive flexibility (v) predicted oral language comprehension in children with DLD while updating (v & nv), inhibition-reaction time (nv) and cognitive flexibility (v & nv) predicted phonological and morphological awareness, oral language comprehension, narrative speech as well as total language score in TD children. Conclusions and implications These results provide important information about the profile of oral language and EF skills in children with DLD compared to their TD peers as well as on the relationship of these skills in both groups. The findings also suggest that improving EFs skills may be a possible way for improving oral language skills in young children with DLD. Our findings are discussed in terms of their theoretical as well as practical implications regarding the diagnostic and intervention procedures for children with DLD.
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