The relations of problem behavior status to children's negative emotionality, effortful control, and impulsivity: Concurrent relations and prediction of change

Nancy Eisenberg, Adrienne Sadovsky, Tracy Spinrad, Richard Fabes, Sandra Losoya, Carlos Valiente, Mark Reiser, Amanda Cumberland, Stephanie A. Shepard

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269 Scopus citations


The relations of children's internalizing and externalizing problem behaviors to their concurrent regulation, impulsivity (reactive undercontrol), anger, sadness, and fearfulness and these aspects of functioning 2 years prior were examined. Parents and teachers completed measures of children's (N = 185; ages 6 through 9 years) adjustment, negative emotionality, regulation, and behavior control; behavioral measures of regulation also were obtained. In general, both internalizing and externalizing problems were associated with negative emotionality. Externalizers were low in effortful regulation and high in impulsivity, whereas internalizers, compared with nondisordered children, were low in impulsivity but not effortful control. Moreover, indices of negative emotionality, regulation, and impulsivity with the level of the same variables 2 years before controlled predicted stability versus change in problem behavior status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-211
Number of pages19
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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