TitleThe Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders Revised (HTKS-R): Development and psychometric properties of a revision to reduce floor effects
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsGonzales, CR, Bowles, R, Geldhof, GJ, Cameron, CE, Tracy, AN, McClelland, MM
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Pagination320 - 332
Date Published05/2021
Keywordschildren, preschool, self-regulation


  • Self-regulation measures may not capture variability in young children.
  • The head-toes-knees-shoulders-revised adds a new section to reduce task demands.
  • The revised task is reliable and valid in young children.
  • The revised task is more related to other self-regulation measures than prior tasks.

Measures of self-regulation may not capture adequate variability in children with low levels of self-regulation. This can limit a measure's ability to accurately demonstrate relations with other variables. The present study addressed this issue with a revised version of the Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders task (HTKS-R), which includes a new downward extension with reduced task demands. Preschool children (N = 180; 53% Female) enrolled in Head Start programs were tested with the HTKS-R and other self-regulation tasks at 4 time points between fall of preschool and spring of kindergarten. Results demonstrated a substantial increase in variability in children's performance on the HTKS-R compared to prior versions of the task during the fall of preschool, and significant increases in the relation between the HTKS-R and other measures of self-regulation at all 4 time points. Additionally, item factor analyses revealed that the new downward extension captured the same underlying construct as the rest of the measure and that a 1 factor solution was optimal. Together, these findings illustrate that the HTKS-R improves upon prior versions of the task increasing its utility for researchers and practitioners.

Short TitleEarly Childhood Research Quarterly