Preschoolers' Self-Regulation, Skill Differentials, and Early Educational Outcomes

30 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2019

See all articles by Johanna Quis

Johanna Quis

University of Bamberg

Anika Bela

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Guido Heineck

University of Bamberg; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

Are there skill differentials in young children's competence levels by their self-regulation abilities and do such early life differences mark the onset of increasing disparities in competence development? We add to previous research by investigating the relationship between preschoolers' self-regulation and their mathematical competence and its development early in primary school. We use data from the kindergarten cohort of the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) which provides observations of self-regulatory behavior as well as mathematical skills and allows controlling for a rich set of relevant background variables.Our results imply a positive association between children's self-regulation and their mathematical competence levels, even when holding general cognitive ability in kindergarten constant. Yet, self-regulation is not related to competence development over the first two years of primary school, meaning that the initial skill gap neither widens nor narrows substantially. Heterogeneity analyses indicate that self-regulation benefits children with low initial levels of mathematical competence at the transition from kindergarten to primary school. No growth gradient, however, is observable between grade 1 and grade 2.

Keywords: self-regulation, skill formation, competence development

JEL Classification: I21

Suggested Citation

Quis, Johanna and Bela, Anika and Heineck, Guido, Preschoolers' Self-Regulation, Skill Differentials, and Early Educational Outcomes. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12072. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3323187

Johanna Quis (Contact Author)

University of Bamberg ( email )

Kirschaeckerstrasse 39
Bamberg, 96045
Germany

Anika Bela

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Guido Heineck

University of Bamberg

Feldkirchenstr. 21
Bamberg, 96052
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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