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Self regulation is important for academic success

A study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has found that a child?s ability to regulate their behavior (e.g. paying attention to a task, delaying gratification or inhibiting impulsive behavior) was more important than intelligence, for academic success.

This study involved preschool children aged three to five years.  The researchers looked at their performance in math?s and reading and concluded that self-control was the best predictor of their ability to do well in these areas.

The researchers hope that the findings will help support and encourage programmes which focus directly on increasing self-regulation, in preschoolers.

It is interesting to note that studies within Positive Psychology have shown that in the western world self-regulation is one of our lowest strengths.  Increasing self control may not only be an issue for preschool children but may be important for society at large.

In relation to this research, Psychologist Clancy Blair (who led the study) comments that parents and teachers can do things to help children regulate their behavior. This can be done by encouraging them to take turns and reflect on their own work.  Self-reflection can help children to become more aware of what they are doing and may help them to better regulate their feelings and behavior. To read about Blairs' research click here

 
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