Early predictors of self-regulation in middle childhood

Rebecca A. Colman, Sam A. Hardy, Myesha Albert, Marcela Raffaelli, Lisa Crockett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study examined the contribution of caregiving practices at ages 4-5 (Time 1) to children's capacity for self-regulation at ages 8-9 (Time 2). The multi-ethnic sample comprised 549 children of National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) participants. High levels of maternal warmth and low levels of physically punitive discipline at Time 1 were associated with a greater capacity for self-regulation at Time 2. These associations remained significant once initial levels of self-regulation were taken into account, indicating that the development of self-regulation is open to caregiver influence during childhood. Neither child gender nor ethnicity moderated the effects of early parenting practices on later self-regulation; the interaction between low maternal warmth and high discipline was also non-significant. Findings add to the literature on how early parenting practices shape children's capacity for effective self-regulation, and have implications for researchers and practitioners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-437
Number of pages17
JournalInfant and Child Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Middle childhood
  • Parenting
  • Self-regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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