The Influence of Regulatory Behavior Strategies on Self-Regulation of Preschoolers

Open Access
Tarle, Stephanie Jeanne
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Kristin Buss, Thesis Supervisor
  • William Ray, Honors Advisor
  • Self-Regulation
  • Inhibitory Control
  • Effortful Control
  • Behavior Regulation Strategies
The development of self-regulation, or the management of one’s reaction to environmental stimuli is crucial for a child’s social and scholastic trajectory as well as the prevention of later mental health problems. Research has identified various components of self-regulation, including effortful control and inhibitory control, yet little observational data has looked into how a child utilizes self-regulation strategies during development. This thesis investigates the behavior regulation strategies children use during the Go-NoGo task to facilitate their performance, the relation it has to effortful control and self-regulation, and potential moderators (maternal behavior and affect and temperament) of this relation. Results showed that children used a certain set of behaviors that helped facilitate their performance on the Go-NoGo task, and were also associated with maternal behaviors but not their own performance in a subsequent task. Results suggest that individual differences in behavioral strategies are an important component of inhibitory control performance. The results imply that more research is needed beyond whether or not a child can self-regulate, but how a child can self-regulate. Future research should focus on these behavioral strategies as possible mechanisms that enhance self-regulation.