Links Between Behavioral Regulation and Preschoolers' Literacy, Vocabulary, and Math Skills

Megan M. McClelland, Claire E. Cameron, Carol Mc Donald Connor, Carrie L. Farris, Abigail M. Jewkes, Frederick J. Morrison

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    734 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    This study investigated predictive relations between preschoolers' (N = 310) behavioral regulation and emergent literacy, vocabulary, and math skills. Behavioral regulation was assessed using a direct measure called the Head-to-Toes Task, which taps inhibitory control, attention, and working memory, and requires children to perform the opposite of what is instructed verbally. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was utilized because children were nested in 54 classrooms at 2 geographical sites. Results revealed that behavioral regulation significantly and positively predicted fall and spring emergent literacy, vocabulary, and math skills on the Woodcock Johnson Tests of Achievement (all ps < .05). Moreover, growth in behavioral regulation predicted growth in emergent literacy, vocabulary, and math skills over the prekindergarten year (all ps < .05), after controlling for site, child gender, and other background variables. Discussion focuses on the role of behavioral regulation in early academic achievement and preparedness for kindergarten.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)947-959
    Number of pages13
    JournalDevelopmental psychology
    Volume43
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 1 2007

    Keywords

    • academic achievement
    • executive function
    • hierarchical linear modeling
    • school readiness
    • self-regulation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Demography
    • Developmental and Educational Psychology
    • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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  • Cite this

    McClelland, M. M., Cameron, C. E., Connor, C. M. D., Farris, C. L., Jewkes, A. M., & Morrison, F. J. (2007). Links Between Behavioral Regulation and Preschoolers' Literacy, Vocabulary, and Math Skills. Developmental psychology, 43(4), 947-959. https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.43.4.947