What is it about?

Self-regulation refers to the cognitive, behavioral, and emotional processes that help individuals to undertake adaptive or goal-driven behavior. Behavioral self-regulation is particularly important for children as it is a key determinant of social and emotional functioning and early school success. In this study, we examined behavioral self-regulation profiles among kindergarten children who were assessed as being developmentally vulnerable in terms of hyperactivity and inattention. We examined three types of behavioral self-regulation: learning behaviors (e.g., staying on task), socially responsible behaviors (e.g., exhibiting respect for others), and aggressive-disruptive behaviors (e.g., hurting other children). To identify the profiles, we determined how students fared on the three behaviors and then grouped similar children into profiles according to patterns of similar behavior. Results revealed six profiles that were replicated across two cohorts of children and provide understanding about profiles that were more (or less) likely to be associated with a subsequent diagnosis of ADHD up to five years later. The findings hold implications for efforts to promote behavioral self-regulation among children, along with the development of interventions that are targeted to the unique needs of each profile.

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Why is it important?

This study is important because understanding different combinations of self-regulation behaviors can provide direction for the types of interventions that may be most effective with each profile. For instance, students who fall into profiles characterized by high levels of aggressive-disruptive behavior may benefit from interventions fostering the development of social skills and socially responsible ways of behaving. Understanding these different profiles at a young age also allows for early interventions, which have been shown to significantly improve later educational attainment and social functioning among students deemed at risk of hyperactivity and inattention.

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This page is a summary of: Behavioral self-regulation among children with hyperactivity and inattention in the first year of school: A population-based latent profile analysis and links with later ADHD diagnosis., Journal of Educational Psychology, September 2021, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/edu0000677.
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