In this study, we tested individual children’s interactions with teachers and peers as potential mechanisms through which inhibitory control supports emotion regulation in the preschool classroom. Participants included 767 preschool children (49% female; M = 4.39 years old, SD = .08) from low-income households (income-to-needs ratio M = 1.45, SD = 1.06). Fifty percent of children were Black, 22% White, 13% Latino, and 15% Other race/ethnicity. Children completed direct assessments of inhibitory control in the fall, teachers reported on children’s emotion regulation in the fall and spring of the preschool year, and trained observers rated the quality of individual children’s interactions with teachers and peers in the fall, winter, and spring. Accounting for earlier emotion regulation, mediation analyses indicated that children’s inhibitory control operates through individual children’s (a) positive interactions with peers and (b) negative interactions with teachers and peers to support their subsequent emotion regulation. (author abstract)
How does inhibitory control predict emotion regulation in preschool? The role of individual children’s interactions with teachers and peers
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