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Curriculum & Leadership Journal
An electronic journal for leaders in education
ISSN: 1448-0743
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Self-regulation and academic achievement in young children

Alyssa Sawyer
Dr Alyssa Sawyer is based in the Discipline of Public Health, School of Population Health, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

There is growing interest in understanding how children develop self-regulation in early childhood, and in particular how this development may impact children’s achievement during the early school years. However, little research has been undertaken in this area in Australia. A study has investigated this issue using data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, a large population-based cohort of Australian children. It examined whether preschool children’s rate of development of two key aspects of self-regulation—task attentiveness and emotional regulation—had implications for their academic achievement in the first years of school. The findings of this study suggest that the rate at which children develop self-regulatory skills across the preschool years has an effect on their academic achievement in the first years of school. This is particularly the case in terms of task attentiveness. These findings suggest that children who are better able to regulate their own attention and persist with completing difficult tasks may be more able to learn in a formal schooling environment.


Subject Headings

Educational evaluation
Early childhood education
Child development