Early Intervention: Effects Of Behavioral Regulation onLearning and Emerging Self-Competence

Thesis or Dissertation


The purpose of this study was to establish: (1) that Head Start children’s emergentliteracy knowledge would benefit from developmentally appropriate and child-centeredintervention; (2) that children’s emotional expression and regulatory behaviors areimportant predictors of interindividual differences in within-individual change inemergent literacy knowledge; (3) that warm and supportive navigation through a childcenteredintervention would positively affect a child’s perceived-self competence; and (4)that regular (i.e., daily) contextual assessment of emergent literacy is predictive of lessfrequent and more decontextualized assessments of emergent literacy. Children wererandomly assigned to either an enriched literacy intervention group or to an attentioncontrol group. Group differences favoring the enriched literacy intervention group werefound on emergent literacy and perceived-self competence measures. Random effectsmodels indicated significant within-individual variation in initial status and change in both emergent literacy and perceived-self competence. Group membership, contextualassessment, regulatory behaviors, and emotional display significantly predictedindividual differences in initial status and change. Preschoolers therefore respond to andlearn from age-appropriate literacy-targeted instruction; behavioral and emotional indicesare important indicators of individual change in literacy ability; and successful andenjoyable experiences during age-appropriate activities can impact children’s perceivedselfcompetence. Finally, regular and contextually relevant assessment can be animportant tool used to monitor individual progress in young children’s literacy abilities.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-11262003-102231

Author Dennis J. Ciancio
Advisor Jeanne D. Day
Contributor Jeanne D. Day, Committee Chair
Degree Level 2
Degree Discipline Psychology
Degree Name Doctor of Philosophy
Defense Date
  • 2003-11-24

Submission Date 2003-11-26
  • United States of America

  • perceived-self competency

  • preschool-aged children

  • head start

  • emergent literacy

  • behavioral regulation

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Access Rights Open Access
Content License
  • All rights reserved