Measurement of self-regulation in early childhood: Relations between laboratory and performance-based measures of effortful control and executive functioning.
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Effortful control (EC) and executive functioning (EF) are two focal constructs in the study of self-regulation in early childhood.Given a number of conceptual and empirical overlaps between EC and EF, this study examined the associations between commonly used laboratory and performance-based measures of EC and EF in early childhood. Children (N =247; age 4-6 years) completed the Shape Stroop, Snack Delay and Toy Delay tasks, as well as the Conner's Kiddie-Continuous erformance Task (KCPT).Partial correlations and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were conducted to assess the relations between performance on the EC and F tasks and the factor structure of self-regulation. Convergent and divergent validity were found amongst the performance-based measures. Inaddition, results from CFA support a one-factor model of self-regulation with "hot" EC and "cool" EF loading onto a general self-regulation factor. Study results highlight the similarities that exist between EC and EF during early childhood and the need for integrative, whole-child approaches in order to understand the neurophysiological and behavioral underpinnings of self-regulation and its development.