What is it about?
The primary purpose of this study was to examine relations between performance-based measures of effortful control and executive functioning, which are two major aspects of self-regulation in young children. Specifically, we explicitly selected and included experimental tasks that were designed to primarily tap young children’s effortful control (EC) or executive functioning (EF) in order to examine the interrelations amongst the performance-based EC and EF tasks. Results show that convergent and divergent validity were found amongst the performance-based measures. In addition, results from CFA support a one-factor model of self-regulation with “hot” EC and “cool” EF loading onto a general self-regulation factor. Study results highlight the similarities that exist between EC and EF during early childhood and the need for integrative, whole-child approaches in order to understand the neurophysiological and behavioral underpinnings of self-regulation and its development.
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Why is it important?
The present study results contribute to the literature on performance-based assessments of self-regulation and also highlight the conceptual and empirical overlaps between EC and EF in early childhood. In conclusion, although EC and EF are distinct constructs with different theoretical frameworks, there are conceptual and empirical linkages between these constructs. Integrative, whole-child approaches are much needed in order to understand and appreciate the neurophysiological and behavioral underpinnings of self-regulation and its development (see Liew et al., 2018). Such approaches could foster the development of cohesive language to communicate with parents, educators, and policymakers about children’s self-regulation, as well as identifying developmentally appropriate, valid, and reliable measures or assessments of self-regulation for screening, diagnostic, research, and intervention purposes.
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This page is a summary of: Measurement of self-regulation in early childhood: Relations between laboratory and performance-based measures of effortful control and executive functioning, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, January 2019, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2018.10.004.
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