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Dev Psychopathol. 2008 Summer;20(3):899-911. doi: 10.1017/S0954579408000436.

Biological processes in prevention and intervention: the promotion of self-regulation as a means of preventing school failure.

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Pennsylvania State University, USA.


This paper examines interrelations between biological and social influences on the development of self-regulation in young children and considers implications of these interrelations for the promotion of self-regulation and positive adaptation to school. Emotional development and processes of emotion regulation are seen as influencing and being influenced by the development of executive cognitive functions, including working memory, inhibitory control, and mental flexibility important for the effortful regulation of attention and behavior. Developing self-regulation is further understood to reflect an emerging balance between processes of emotional arousal and cognitive regulation. Early childhood educational programs that effectively link emotional and motivational arousal with activities designed to exercise and promote executive functions can be effective in enhancing self-regulation, school readiness, and school success.

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