Sociocognitive and socioemotive factors associated with early academic abilities in preschool children in Costa Rica
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This study aims at providing a multi-report, multi-method model of academic and socio-emotional preparation in preschool children that integrates bodies of previous research that have been conducted primarily in isolation. The main purpose is to test a comprehensive model of self-regulation and its links to moral reasoning, prosocial behaviors and early academic abilities. Participants were 193 Costa Rican preschool children for whom parent- and teacher- reports were collected. Also, children were evaluated with performance tests. The results showed that self-regulation is better represented as a bifactorial model with both cognitive and emotional components. Also, the study showed evidence suggesting that prosocial behaviors in preschoolers are better explained as a multidimensional construct rather than a unidimensional variable. Cognitive self-regulation showed positive links with prosocial moral reasoning, prosocial behaviors and early academic abilities, whereas emotion regulation showed only significant relations with prosocial behaviors. The relations between self-regulation and early academic abilities were direct and not mediated by prosocial moral reasoning or prosocial behaviors. The results are discussed in light of previous findings, and some implications for theories of human development and future interventions are presented.