Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 799–810 | Cite as

Examining Early Behavioral Persistence as a Dynamic Process: Correlates and Consequences Spanning Ages 3–10 Years

Article

Abstract

We investigated systematic changes in 3-year-olds’ effortful persistence in a dyadic problem-solving context and explored their correlates (i.e., parenting behavior and demographic characteristics at 3 years) and consequences (i.e., child externalizing behavior at 3, 6, and 10 years) within a sample of 241 middle-income families (118 girls). Results indicated that children may be grouped into three classes based on their behavioral profiles of persistence. Children who were highly persistent over the course of the task were more likely to have higher levels of IQ and mothers who were observed to be more behaviorally responsive than those who showed consistently low levels of task-related behavior. Additionally, children who demonstrated stably low levels of persistence were rated by teachers to display more externalizing behavior at 6 and 10 years than those in the other groups. Profiles of persistence did not predict concurrent levels of child externalizing behavior at the age of 3 years. The findings are discussed with respect to expanding the scope of research on child self-regulation by defining it as a time based construct and tracking its dynamic changes.

Keywords

Behavioral persistence Effortful control Maternal responsiveness Externalizing behavior 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was part of the first author’s doctoral dissertation at the University of Michigan. This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (RO1MH57489) to the second author. We are very grateful to the children, parents, teachers, and preschool administrators for making this research possible.

Conflict of Interest

We have no potential conflict of interest to declare.

References

  1. Achenbach, T. (1992). Manual for the child behavior checklist/2-3 and 1992 profile. Burlington: University of Vermont Department of Psychiatry.Google Scholar
  2. Achenbach, T. M. (1997). Teacher–caregiver report form for ages 1.5–5. Burlington: University of Vermont, Department of Psychiatry.Google Scholar
  3. Achenbach, T. M., & Rescorla, L. A. (2001). Manual for the ASEBA school-age forms & profiles. Burlington: University of Vermont, Research Center for Children, Youth, & Families.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, P. (2002). Assessment and development and executive function (EF) during childhood. Child Neuropsychology, 8, 71–82.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Calkins, S. D., & Fox, N. A. (2002). Self-regulatory processes in early personality development: a multilevel approach to the study of childhood social withdrawal and aggression. Development and Psychopathology, 14, 477–498.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Chang, H., Olson, S. L., Sameroff, A. J., & Sexton, H. R. (2011). Child effortful control as a mediator of parenting practices on externalizing behavior: Evidence for a sex-differentiated pathway across the transition from preschool to school. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 39, 71–81.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. De Pauw, S. S. W., Mervielde, I., & van Leeuwen, K. G. (2009). How are traits related to problem behavior in preschoolers? Similarities and contrasts between temperament and personality. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37, 309–325.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Eisenberg, N., Spinrad, T. L., Fabes, R. A., Reiser, M., Cumberland, A., Shepard, S. A., et al. (2004). The relations of effortful control and impulsivity to children’s resiliency and adjustment. Child Development, 75, 25–46.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. Eisenberg, N., Spinrad, T. L., & Eggum, N. D. (2010). Emotion-related self-regulation and its relation to children’s maladjustment. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 6, 495–525.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. Else-Quest, N. M., Hyde, J. S., Goldsmith, H. H., & Van Hulle, C. A. (2006). Gender differences in temperament: a meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 132, 33–72.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Enders, C. K., & Bandalos, D. L. (2001). The relative performance of full information maximum likelihood estimation for missing data in structural equation models. Structural Equation Modeling, 8, 430–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Evans, G. W., & Kim, P. (2013). Childhood poverty, chronic stress, self-regulation, and coping. Child Development Perspectives, 7, 43–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Grusec, J. E., & Davidov, M. (2010). Integrating different perspectives on socialization theory and research: a domain-specific approach. Child Development, 81, 687–709.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Kochanska, G., & Knaack, A. (2003). Effortful control as a personality characteristic of young children: antecedents, correlates, and consequences. Journal of Personality, 71, 1087–1112.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Kochanska, G., Murray, K. T., Jacques, T. Y., Koenig, A. L., & Vandegeest, K. (1996). Inhibitory control in young children and its role in emerging internalization. Child Development, 67, 490–507.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Kochanska, G., Murray, K. T., & Harlan, E. T. (2000). Effortful control in early childhood: continuity and change, antecedents, and implications for social development. Developmental Psychology, 36, 220–232.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Lemery, K., Essex, M. J., & Smider, N. A. (2002). Revealing the relation between temperament and behavior problem symptoms by eliminating measurement confounding: expert ratings and factor analyses. Child Development, 73, 867–882.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Lunkenheimer, E. S., Dishion, T. J., Shaw, D. S., Connell, A., Gardner, F., Wilson, M. N., & Skuban, E. M. (2008). Collateral benefits of the family check up on early childhood school readiness: indirect effects of parents’ positive behavior support. Developmental Psychology, 44, 1737–1752.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  19. Lunkenheimer, E. S., Olson, S. L., Hollenstein, T., Sameroff, A. J., & Winter, C. (2011). Dyadic flexibility and positive affect in parent-child coregulation and development of child behavior problems. Development and Psychopathology, 23, 577–591.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Masten, A. S., Roisman, G. I., Long, J. D., Burt, K. B., Obradović, J., Riley, J. R., et al. (2005). Developmental cascades: linking academic achievement and externalizing and internalizing symptoms over 20 years. Developmental Psychology, 41, 733–746.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Matas, L., Arend, R. A., & Sroufe, L. A. (1978). Continuity of adaptation in the second year: the relationship between quality of attachment and later competence. Child Development, 49, 547–556.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mokrova, I. L., O’Brien, M., Calkins, S. D., Leerkes, E. M., & Marcovitch, S. (2012). Links between family social status and preschoolers’ persistence: the role of maternal values and quality of parenting. Infant and Child Development, 21, 617–633.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  23. Muris, P., & Ollendick, T. H. (2005). The role of temperament in the etiology of child psychopathology. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 8, 271–289.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (2012). Mplus user’s guide (7th ed.). Los Angeles: Author.Google Scholar
  25. Nylund, K. L., Asparouhov, T., & Muthén, B. O. (2007). Deciding on the number of classes in latent class analysis and growth mixture modeling: a Monte Carlo simulation. Structural Equation Modeling, 14, 535–569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Olson, S. L., & Lunkenheimer, E. S. (2009). Expanding concepts of self-regulation to social relationships: transactional processes in the development of early behavioral adjustment. In A. J. Sameroff (Ed.), Transactional processes in development (pp. 55–76). Washington, DC: APA Press.Google Scholar
  27. Olson, S. L., Sameroff, A. J., Kerr, D. C. R., Lopez, N. L., & Wellman, H. M. (2005). Developmental foundations of externalizing problems in young children: the role of effortful control. Developmental Psychopathology, 17, 25–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Rothbart, M. K., & Bates, J. E. (2006). Temperament. In W. D. N. Eisenberg (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology (Vol. 3, pp. 99–166). New York: Wiley. Social, emotional, and personality development.Google Scholar
  29. Supplee, L. H., Shaw, D. S., Hailstones, K., & Hartman, K. (2004). Family and child influences on early academic and emotion regulatory behaviors. Journal of School Psychology, 42, 221–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Vygotsky, L. (1978). Interaction between learning and development. Mind in society (pp. 79–91). Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Wakschlag, L. S., & Keenan, K. (2001). Clinical significance and correlates of disruptive behavior in environmentally at-risk preschoolers. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 30, 262–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wechsler, D. (1989). Wechsler preschool and primary scale of intelligence-revised. San Antonio: The Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  33. Wechsler, D. (1991). Manual for the wechsler intelligence scale for children (3rd ed.). New York∞: The Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  34. Zhou, Q., Hofer, C., Eisenberg, N., Reiser, M., Spinrad, T. L., & Fabes, R. A. (2007). The developmental trajectories of attention focusing, attentional and behavioral persistence, and externalizing problems during school-age years. Developmental Psychology, 43, 369–385.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologySungkyunkwan UniversityJongno-GuSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

Personalised recommendations