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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Effect of Teacher-Child Interactions on Low-Income Children's Early Self-Regulation Development

  • Author(s): Hong, Sandra Lynn
  • Advisor(s): Howes, Carollee
  • et al.

Early school success is dependent on children's ability to function as a regulated member of a classroom, including appropriately managing emotions and behavior, and attending to relevant information and tasks (Peth-Pierce, 2000; Raver, 2002). This study examines the growth of self-regulation of low-income, largely Latino and dual language learning three to six-year-olds. Children improved in their performance over time on tasks from the Preschool Self-Regulation Assessment Battery (PSRA; Smith-Donald, Raver, Hayes, & Richardson, 2007). Non-linear growth modeling was used to model rapid growth on impulse inhibition tasks at age three, and approach to ceiling/floor on impulse control tasks by kindergarten (Grimm, Ram, & Hamagami, 2011). Spanish-English dual language learners performed similarly to their non-Latino peers on measures of impulse control and a conflict task whereas their monolingual English-speaking Latino peers performed worse, suggesting a possible cognitive advantage of bilingual language acquisition on self-regulation skills (Blair & Raver, 2011; Li-Grinning, 2007). Finally, quality of teacher-child interactions predicted small differences in executive function. Implications are suggested for supporting low-income children's self-regulation development and ultimately influencing their school readiness by supporting the simultaneous acquisition of their home language, and by providing sensitive, responsive, and instructionally supportive interactions with a caregiver or teacher.

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