Self-Regulation in Early Childhood : Nature and Nurture book cover
1st Edition

Self-Regulation in Early Childhood
Nature and Nurture

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ISBN 9781572307520
Published February 6, 2002 by Guilford Press
296 Pages

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Book Description

The early years are critically important for the development of self-regulation--the set of abilities that enable children to control their emotions and behavior, interact positively with others, and engage in independent learning. This book examines how self-regulation develops in the first 8 years of life and describes practical ways for educators and caregivers to support its development. Part I reviews a diverse body of theory and research on the growth of self-control and self-direction across emotional, social, motivational, and cognitive domains. Also described is contemporary research linking self-regulatory abilities to control systems in the brain. Part II presents concrete suggestions for enhancing self-regulatory skills in infants and toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners, and school-age children. Chapters address caregiver and teacher behaviors, behavior management techniques, ways of arranging the environment, and strategies for enhancing peer interactions and children's interest in self-directed learning.

Table of Contents

Introduction and Overview
I. Theoretical and Research Perspectives on Self-Regulation
1. Overview of Theoretical Perspectives on Self-Regulation
2. Interrelation of Motivation and Self-Regulation
3. Controlling Emotion and Behavior
4. Engaging in Prosocial Behavior
5. Controlling Cognitive Processing
6. Self-Regulation and Control Systems in the Brain
II. Research to Practice: Supporting Self-Regulation in Early Childhood
7. Supporting Self-Regulation in Infants and Toddlers
8. Supporting Self-Regulation in Preschool and Kindergarten Children
9. Supporting Self-Regulation in Primary School Children

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Martha B. Bronson, EdD, is Associate Professor of Developmental and Educational Psychology at Boston College, where she directs the early childhood program.


"Martha B. Bronson's book, Self-Regulation in Early Childhood: Nature and Nurture, is a valuable contribution to the early childhood education literature for understanding self-regulation. The author offers an articulate discussion of relevant theory and research, predominantly in the field of developmental psychology, and translates these perspectives to important issues in educational practice....The author provides clearly written and understandable information that would be valuable to both the preservice student and the experienced educator....One of the best features of this book is the way in which the author continually embeds theory and research findings in adult-directed practices that can support children's self-regulation learning at various age levels. The author does not attempt to oversimplify and imply that such practices can be applied in a one-size-fits-all recipe; rather, she offers a template for applying such knowledge to interaction and environmental practices that can make a positive difference to children's outcomes."--Topics in Early Childhood Special Education (TECSE)

"In this masterfully written resource, Bronson provides a thorough description of the development of self-regulatory abilities within several domains and makes suggestions for enhancement of these abilities in the first eight years of life....At the end of each of the Research to Practice chapters, the author provides invaluable summaries in well-organized tables, which are beneficial to anyone working with children from birth to eight years of age....This full historical framework from multiple perspectives establishes credibility for Bronson's work by acknowledging the inevitable influence of each of these perspectives....Perhaps this is one of the main strengths of this book: Bronson's depth of understanding of the various theoretical perspectives enables her to present each clearly and in an unbiased form....The suggestions throughout this section will be invaluable for parents and teachers alike. In Self-Regulation in Early Childhood: Nature and Nurture, Bronson has done a thorough job of pulling together research from many perspectives. The strength of this work is in its synthesis and connections to the major ideas in both developmental and educational psychology. The book's predictable organization makes it a handy resource guide for anyone working with children from birth to age 8. Bronson's writing style facilitates clarity of understanding. The depth of knowledge of developmental and educational psychology she displays is a strength, but also make this a difficult read for the uninitiated....Her work, if widely disseminated and applied, holds promise for changing how we think about and educate young children, and provides insight into some of the difficulties we face in educating today's students."--Early Childhood Research Quarterly

"An extraordinary integration of diverse strands of research on social, motivational, intellectual, and emotional development in young children. Bronson engages her reader with a style that is clear without compromising the subject's complexity. This is a scholarly yet readable account for a broad audience. It will serve as a useful text for advanced undergraduate and graduate-level students." --Deborah Stipek, PhD, Professor of Education, UCLA

"An articulate and highly thoughtful writer, Bronson clearly knows the research and theoretical issues in the very important area of self-regulation. Setting her apart from most scholars are her astute observational skills and years of experience with what early childhood teachers and caregivers actually do on a daily basis. Informed by a solid familiarity with early childhood and primary school contexts, this book synthesizes the knowledge base and provides excellent coverage of practices that support children's self-regulation at various age levels."--Carol Copple, PhD, Publications Editor, National Association for the Education of Young Children

"An excellent, comprehensive discussion of theory and research on self-regulation that builds effective connections with early childhood parenting and educational practice. Scholars and practitioners alike will find this book to be a clear, readable, and helpful resource on an aspect of development crucial for children's cognitive, emotional, and social competence."--Laura E. Berk, PhD, University Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychology, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois