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Assessing Development Trajectories of Executive Function in Low-Income, Ethnic Minority Preschoolers: Opportunities & Challenges

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Margaret Caughy, Sc.D., The University of Texas School of Public Health

Low-income, ethnic minority children are at a heightened risk of early academic failure, and there is an emerging interest in how individual differences in self-regulatory ability may contribute to race/ethnic disparities in school readiness. However, very little data are available regarding the development trajectory of self-regulation in this group of children at risk for school failure or how these trajectories are shaped by child characteristics and family processes. In this presentation, the available empirical evidence regarding development trajectories in self-regulation were discussed, both for children in general, as well as data specific to low-income, ethnic minority children. Challenges related to implementing self-regulation assessments in a cohort of two-and-a-half-year-old African American and Latino low-income children were described. Finally, the importance of examining the influence of culturally specific aspects of parenting related to acculturation and socialization goals and the development of self-regulation were discussed.

Caughy Presentation Slides (PDF - 894 KB)

Biosketch for Margaret O’Brien Caughy, Sc.D.

Dr. Margaret O’Brien Caughy is Associate Professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Maternal and Child Health Training Program at The University of Texas School of Public Health. Her research focuses on race/ethnic disparities in health and development and how these disparities can be understood within the unique ecological niches of ethnic minority families. Dr. Caughy received a B.S. in psychology from Texas A&M University, a M.Ed. in human development from the University of Maryland, College Park, and her Sc.D. in maternal and child health from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health.

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Last Reviewed: 11/30/2012
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