Parts of the Whole: Motor and Behavioral Skills in Self-Regulation and Schooling Outcomes Academic Article uri icon


  • 2018, 2018 Taylor & Francis. Primary education is compulsory around the world. This means that around age 5 or 6, millions of children worldwide transition from home or preschool/kindergarten settings into primary school, with the success of this transition shaping school and life trajectories for years to come. Both developmental and environmental factors during early childhood spur tremendous change in childrens executive function (EF), a multi-component process fundamental to self-regulation and overall achievement. Successful self-regulation means that children can master their attention, emotions, and behaviors as they navigate public social spaces including the classroom and playground. Adaptive development of EF and self-regulation are critical, because primary school comes with heightened expectations for children to manage themselves effectively. In this special section of 4 articles that collectively span preschool through 5th grade, we take an integrative, whole-child approach to studying childrens regulatory processes and schooling outcomes. Special section authors explored conceptual frameworks, measurement approaches, and empirical research on the motor and behavioral aspects of self-regulation and their contributions to educational outcomes. Article themes include the importance of precise and nuanced measurement of regulatory processes in addition to academic skills; in-school and out-of-school time as unique contexts for development; multiple interrelated developmental domains important for EF and self-regulation, including visuo-spatial and visuo-motor skills; and the need to synthesize research on EF and self-regulation across developmental domains for efficacious application and interventions. In taking an integrative, whole-child approach to the study of self-regulation and schooling outcomes, these articles represent research that are important parts of the whole.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Liew, J., Cameron, C. E., & Lockman, J. J.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Liew, Jeffrey||Cameron, Claire E||Lockman, Jeffrey J

publication date

  • October 2018