TitleBehavioral Regulation and Early Academic Achievement in Taiwan
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsWanless, SB, McClelland, MM, Acock, A, Chen, F-M, Chen, J-L
JournalEarly Education & Development
Pagination1 - 28
Date Published02/2011

Behavioral regulation (the integration of attention, working memory, and inhibitory control) is critical for school readiness and early academic achievement. In Taiwan, however, where academic success is highly valued, there is a dearth of assessments available to measure young children's behavioral regulation. The present study examined the validity of a direct measure of behavioral regulation, the Head-to-Toes Task (HTT), in Taiwanese 3.5- to 4.5-year-olds. The goals were to (a) investigate the nature and variability of HTT scores and (b) explore relations between HTT scores and early math and vocabulary skills and teacher-rated classroom behavioral regulation in the spring of the preschool year. Results indicated that the HTT captured substantial variability and was significantly related to early math and vocabulary skills after controlling for age, mother's education level, and teacher-rated classroom behavioral regulation but was not significantly related to teacher ratings of classroom behavioral regulation. Practice or Policy: These findings suggest that the HTT may be a useful measure of behavioral regulation for Taiwanese preschoolers and provide evidence for the importance of behavioral regulation for academic achievement in Taiwan. Practical implications focus on supporting the development of behavioral regulation in early childhood settings, which can promote early school success.