Adaptive and Effortful Control and Academic Self-efficacy Beliefs on Achievement: A Longitudinal Study of 1 through 3 Graders

Early Child Res Q. 2008;23(4):515-526. doi: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2008.07.003.


The linkages between self-regulatory processes and achievement were examined across three years in 733 children beginning at 1(st) grade (M = 6.57 years, SD = .39 at 1(st) grade) who were identified as lower achieving in literacy. Accounting for consistencies in measures (from one year prior) and for influences of child's age, gender, IQ, ethnicity and economic adversity on achievement, results indicate that adaptive/effortful control at 1(st) grade contributed to both academic self-efficacy beliefs at 2(nd) grade, and reading (but not math) achievement at 3(rd) grade. Although academic self-efficacy did not partially mediate the linkage between adaptive/effortful control and achievement, academic self-efficacy beliefs were positively correlated with reading and math. Results support the notion that early efforts to promote children's self-regulatory skills would enhance future academic self-beliefs and achievement, particularly in literacy.