Considering child effortful control in the context of teacher effortful control: Implications for kindergarten success

Larissa Michelle Gaias, Tashia Abry, Jodi Swanson, Richard Fabes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Children's effortful control (EC) has been consistently predicts academic and social adjustment; however, researchers have not yet examined children's EC in conjunction with the EC of their teachers. Using membership to EC similarity/dissimilarity pairings, we examined whether the alignment of kindergarten children's EC levels and their teachers' EC levels (e.g., high child EC/high teacher EC, low child EC/high teacher EC) was associated with math and reading performance, school liking, and closeness and conflict in student-teacher relationships. Results from multilevel regression models indicated that high-EC children who had high-EC teachers tended to have better basic math and reading scores and enjoy school more than their peers in other pairings. Low-EC children who had high-EC teachers had the least close and most conflictual relationships with their teachers. Findings have implications for professional development aimed to help teachers better understand and respond to students temperamentally similar or dissimilar to themselves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-207
Number of pages9
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016



  • Academic performance
  • Child effortful control
  • Kindergarten adjustment
  • Student-teacher relationships
  • Teacher effortful control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education

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