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Self-control interventions that benefit executive functioning and academic outcomes in early and middle childhood

In this paper we describe extant child self-regulation and self-control interventions that benefit executive functioning and academic outcomes. We review interventions that occur in preschool, as well as those that are designed for elementary school-aged children. Outcomes include concurrent and later executive functioning gains, school readiness, school transition, and educational achievement. Our primary focus is on scientifically rigorous, prospective research, and we discuss international interventions that target child self-control from multiple perspectives. Conclusions and Implications for Research and Practice: We conclude by proposing future directions, highlighting areas where additional research is needed. In particular, studies measuring preschool/school readiness and transition, investigations that examine both socio-emotional and cognitive aspects of self-control development in the context of intervention, research integrating parents, families and schools, and more comprehensive, longitudinal studies of how these interventions affect academic outcomes would contribute greatly to this emerging literature. (author abstract)
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