Improving child self-regulation and parenting in families of pre-kindergarten children with developmental disabilities and behavioral difficulties

Prev Sci. 2015 Feb;16(2):222-32. doi: 10.1007/s11121-014-0482-2.


The transition to school may be particularly difficult for children with developmental disabilities and behavioral difficulties. Such children are likely to experience problems with self-regulation skills, which are critical to school adjustment. Additionally, inconsistent discipline practices and low parental involvement in children's schooling may contribute to a poor transition to school. This study employed a randomized clinical trial to examine the effects of a school readiness intervention that focused on children's self-regulation skills as well as parenting and parental involvement in school. Results showed that the intervention had positive effects on children's self-regulation in kindergarten as measured by teacher and observer reports. Additionally, the intervention significantly reduced ineffective parenting prior to school entry, which in turn affected parental involvement. This finding is significant because it demonstrates that parental involvement in school may be increased by efforts to improve parenting skills in general. Overall, the study demonstrated that school adjustment across kindergarten among children with developmental disabilities and behavioral difficulties can be enhanced through an intervention aimed specifically at improving school readiness skills.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developmental Disabilities / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parenting*
  • Schools