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Emotional and organizational supports for preschoolers' emotion regulation: Relations with school adjustment



Emotional and organizational supports for preschoolers' emotion regulation: Relations with school adjustment



Emotion 16(2): 263-279



Preschool teachers, like parents, support children in ways that promote the regulation capacities that drive school adjustment, especially for children struggling to succeed in the classroom. The purpose of this study was to explore the emotionally and organizationally supportive classroom processes that contribute to the development of children's emotion regulation and executive control. Emotion regulation and executive control were assessed in 312 3-, 4- and 5-year-old children. The 44 teachers of these children completed questionnaires asking about 3 components of children's school adjustment: Positive/Engaged, Independent/Motivated, and Prosocial/Connected. Observations of classroom emotional and organizational supports were conducted. Results of multilevel models indicated emotion regulation was significantly associated with the Positive/Engaged school adjustment component, but only when teachers' emotional and organizational supports were taken into account. Children with lower levels of emotion regulation, who were also in less supportive classrooms, had the lowest scores on the Positive/Engaged component. Children's executive control was associated with the Independent/Motivated and Prosocial/Connected components independently of teacher effects. In general, moderate support was found for the notion that teachers' supports can be particularly helpful for children struggling to regulate their emotions to be better adjusted to school. Children's emotionally salient classroom behaviors, and teachers' emotion scaffolding, are discussed.

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Accession: 057758108

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PMID: 26479772


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