Inhibitory Control is Associated with Psychosocial, Cognitive, and Weight Outcomes in a Longitudinal Sample of Girls

Transl Issues Psychol Sci. 2015 Sep;1(3):203-216. doi: 10.1037/tps0000028. Epub 2014 Sep 1.


Early self-regulation abilities have been highlighted as a robust predictor of adaptive development, but the extant literature has typically focused on outcomes in different developmental domains separately. The aim of the current study was to expand upon this research by testing pathways from girls' inhibitory control at age 7, an aspect of self-regulation, to their psychosocial, cognitive, and weight outcomes from ages 9 to 15 (n=192). Results supported the hypothesis that greater inhibitory control is independently associated with better subsequent psychosocial, cognitive, and weight outcomes. These findings, combined with evidence that self-regulatory capacities are modifiable in early childhood, offer opportunities for interdisciplinary preventive interventions aiming to promote child health and well-being across domains and over time.

Keywords: childhood obesity; cognition; inhibitory control; self-regulation; well-being.