TitleSelf-regulation and academic achievement in the transition to school. In S. D. Calkins & M. Bell (Eds).
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsMorrison, FJ, Ponitz, CC, McClelland, MM
Book TitleChild development at the intersection of emotion and cognition
PublisherAmerican Psychological Association.
CityWashington, DC

In this chapter, we examine self-regulation and its role in academic development, focusing on the transition to formal schooling. We posit that adaptive development in the school context depends on children's ability to manage their reactions and specifically their task-related behaviors. Moreover, successfully self-regulating depends on environmental influences and interactions with others as well as child factors and predispositions. We focus on the construct of behavioral self-regulation, which is closely aligned with executive function and which we define as the execution and manifestation of cognitive processes in overt behavior. Remembering and using information, attending to and understanding what others are saying, directing motor actions, and persisting toward goals are all indicators of adaptive behavioral regulation (McClelland, Cameron, Wanless, & Murray, 2007). Our goals in the chapter are to examine behavioral regulation in the context of early childhood and the transition to school, elucidating how children's skills contribute to achievement. First, we demonstrate links between behavioral regulation and academic achievement prior to formal schooling and throughout elementary school; second, we summarize evidence on the relations between behavioral regulation and emotion regulation; third, we discuss individual differences and proximal influences on regulatory skill growth; fourth, we explore risk factors in the school setting important for the development of behavioral regulation. We end the chapter with a discussion of practical implications and suggestions for future research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)