Caregiver Level Predictors of Self-Regulation in Preschool-Aged Children
Metadata[+] Show full item record
Self-regulation is regarded as a key developmental skill that underlies children’s success throughout their life. When children enter kindergarten with under-developed self-regulation skills, they are at a greater risk for poor peer relationships and academic achievement (Bernier, Carlson, & Whipple, 2010). Caregivers matter in the development of children’s self-regulation (Karreman et al., 2006), but specific ways that day-to-day caregiver-child interactions shape self-regulation are not yet well understood. The current study sought to further the understanding of caregiver behaviors, particularly behaviors that occur during caregiver-child play, in relation to children’s self-regulation. Self-regulation is defined in this study as a child’s ability to adapt their attention, manage their emotions, and control their behaviors. Data from 58 female-caregiver and child dyads were included in this study and were drawn from a larger longitudinal study evaluating the development of self-regulatory and relational skills in preschool-aged children over time. Caregivers and their children attended a laboratory visit where the caregiver engaged in an interview and completed questionnaires of family demographics, caregiving self-regulation (Me as a Parent), and ratings of their child’s self-regulatory behaviors (Devereaux Early Childhood Assessment-Clinical; DECA-C), while the child completed a brief cognitive screener (Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales for Early Childhood–Fifth Edition, Verbal and Nonverbal Routing sections; Roid, 2003) and a field assessment of self-regulation, which contained an assessor rating scale of child behaviors during the assessment (Preschool Self-Regulation Assessment; PSRA; Smith-Donald et al., 2007). The final task was a 5-minute unstructured play interaction between caregiver and child. Play-based caregiver behaviors were coded for caregiver use of labeled praise, questions, and commands using the Behavioral Coding System (BCS) from McMahon and Forehand (2005). We hypothesized that across both available measures of self-regulation (assessor report and maternal report) high levels of caregiving self-regulation would be associated with higher levels of child self-regulation. We also expected that more labeled praises provided by caregivers during play would predict higher child self-regulation, but that more commands and questions would predict lower child self-regulation. Two hierarchical regressions were conducted: one with PSRA Assessor Total of child self-regulation as the DV and the other with DECA-C Total caregiver report of child self-regulation as the DV. Results indicated that regarding assessor ratings, surprisingly, the higher the mothers rated their own self-regulation, the lower the PSRA assessor rated the child’s self-regulation. Labeled praise, questions, and commands did not contribute to the model. Regarding caregiver ratings of child self-regulation, mothers who rated their caregiving self-regulation as high also rated their child as highly regulated. Similar to the previous model, play related behaviors such as labeled praises, questions, and commands did not contribute the model. In both analyses, the mother’s own self-regulation was the strongest predictor of the child’s self-regulation. Implications for self-regulation measurement and the role of caregiving self-regulation in promoting self-regulation in children will be discussed.
Table of Contents
Overview -- Review of literature -- Methodology -- Results -- Discussion -- Appendix A. Caregiver Demographics -- Appendix B. Scoring
M.A. (Master of Arts)