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Title page for ETD etd-11262003-102231


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Ciancio, Dennis J.
Author's Email Address dciancio@nd.edu
URN etd-11262003-102231
Title Early Intervention: Effects Of Behavioral Regulation on Learning and Emerging Self-Competence
Degree Doctor of Philosophy
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Jeanne D. Day Committee Chair
Keywords
  • perceived-self competency
  • preschool-aged children
  • head start
  • emergent literacy
  • behavioral regulation
Date of Defense 2003-11-24
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to establish: (1) that Head Start children’s emergent

literacy knowledge would benefit from developmentally appropriate and child-centered

intervention; (2) that children’s emotional expression and regulatory behaviors are

important predictors of interindividual differences in within-individual change in

emergent literacy knowledge; (3) that warm and supportive navigation through a childcentered

intervention would positively affect a child’s perceived-self competence; and (4)

that regular (i.e., daily) contextual assessment of emergent literacy is predictive of less

frequent and more decontextualized assessments of emergent literacy. Children were

randomly assigned to either an enriched literacy intervention group or to an attention

control group. Group differences favoring the enriched literacy intervention group were

found on emergent literacy and perceived-self competence measures. Random effects

models indicated significant within-individual variation in initial status and change in both emergent literacy and perceived-self competence. Group membership, contextual

assessment, regulatory behaviors, and emotional display significantly predicted

individual differences in initial status and change. Preschoolers therefore respond to and

learn from age-appropriate literacy-targeted instruction; behavioral and emotional indices

are important indicators of individual change in literacy ability; and successful and

enjoyable experiences during age-appropriate activities can impact children’s perceivedself

competence. Finally, regular and contextually relevant assessment can be an

important tool used to monitor individual progress in young children’s literacy abilities.

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