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Indirect and direct relationships between self-regulation and academic achievement during the nursery/elementary school transition of French students

Several recent studies carried out in the United States and abroad (i.e., Asia and Europe) have demonstrated that the ability of young children to regulate their behavior (including inhibitory control, working memory, attentional control) significantly predicts their academic achievement. The current study examined the contribution of self-regulation skills measured by the Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders task in predicting the literacy, word recognition, and mathematical performance of 138 French children followed from their last year in nursery school (5.7 years old) to their 1st year in elementary school (7.3 years old). The current study also examined whether self-regulation skills differ by gender. Results indicated that self-regulation performance was similar for boys and girls. Path analyses revealed different patterns of relationships between self-regulation and mathematics and between self-regulation and literacy/word recognition. Self-regulation was significantly associated with math skills both directly and indirectly. In addition, early literacy skills were strongly associated with both mathematics and word recognition performance. Practice or Policy: Results suggest that developing the strong self-regulation and early academic skills of young French children could be beneficial to their academic achievement. (author abstract)
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Reports & Papers

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