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The Contribution of Hot and Cool Self-Regulation in Early Childhood to Later Academic Achievement
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Department of clinical and developmental psychology, University of Michigan, MI, United States.
Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, South Korea.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of the present study was to investigate the contribution of hot (emotional/motivational) and cool (cognitive) self-regulation in early childhood to lateracademic achievement in kindergarten (math) and late elementary school (math andlanguage). In a sample of 235 preschoolers, higher levels of cool self-regulation predicted better math achievement in kindergarten and this head-start effect persisted into late elementary school. In contrast, higher levels of hot self-regulation predicted better language but not math achievement in late elementary school. These findings support the notion that cool self-regulation is important for the development of academic skills already inkindergarten, whereas the effects on academic achievement of hot self-regulation are delayed, which may be a result of increasing demands through elementary school.

Keyword [en]
self-regulation, academic achievement, school readiness
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology) Psychology
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-75443OAI: diva2:516725
Available from: 2012-04-23 Created: 2012-04-19 Last updated: 2012-05-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Childhood Self-Regulation, Academic Achievement, and Occupational Attainment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Childhood Self-Regulation, Academic Achievement, and Occupational Attainment
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The general aim of this thesis was to extend knowledge of the interplay between self-regulation (SR) skills during childhood in relation to academic achievement and later adult educational and occupational attainment.

Previous research has shown that cool SR (i.e., cognitive) is more closely linked to academic achievement than hot SR (i.e., motivational/emotional). However, studies investigating both cool and hot SR in relation to academic achievement have been restricted to young children. Therefore, Study I assessed cool and hot SR in relation to academic achievement over a longer time period. The results showed that cool SR at age 3 was related to achievement already at age 6. Hot SR at age 3 did not predict achievement until later on in elementary school.

Study II investigated the contribution of interference control and attention skills at age 6 to concurrent and later academic achievement at age 10. As the learning material becomes increasingly more complex throughout elementary school and teachers may give less support, interference control was expected to have a delayed effect on academic achievement relative to attention skills. Results showed that attention skills were related to academic achievement at age 6, whereas interference control only predicted academic achievement at age 10.

Study III investigated task persistence in young adolescence in relation to academic achievement later in school and educational and occupational attainment in midlife. Results showed that task persistence contributed to change in grades between ages 13 and 16. Further, task persistence predicted later educational and occupational attainment (men only). Importantly, individual differences in intelligence, motivation, social background, and later educational attainment did not account for these effects. The findings point to a fundamental role of self-regulation in childhood for successful academic achievement and later attainment in adulthood.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, 2012. 75 p.
Academic achievement, self-regulation, executive functions, school readiness, occupational attainment, educational attainment
National Category
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-75715 (URN)978-91-7447-493-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-06-05, David Magnussonsalen (U31), hus 8, Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
At the time of doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Manuscript. Paper 2: Manuscript.Available from: 2012-05-14 Created: 2012-04-25 Last updated: 2012-05-07Bibliographically approved

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Andersson, Håkan
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Department of PsychologyAging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI)
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