The purpose of this study was to examine the moderating role of individual differences in negative emotionality in the relations of behavioral and attentional (emotional) regulation to externalizing problem behaviors. Teachers' and one parent's reports of children's regulation (attentional and behavioral), emotionality, and problem behavior were obtained when children were in kindergarten to grade 3 and two years later (N = 169; 146 in major analyses); children's behavioral regulation also was assessed with a measure of persistence. According to the best fitting structural equation model, at two ages behavioral dysregulation predicted externalizing behavior problems for children both high and low in negative emotionality, whereas prediction of problem behavior from attentional control was significant only for children prone to negative emotionality. There were unique, additive effects of behavioral and attentional regulation for predicting problem behavior as well as moderating effects of negative emotionality for attentional regulation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology