Guided by bio-ecological theory, this study aimed to: (1) identify heterogeneity in the developmental patterns of emotion regulation for maltreated preschool-aged children; (2) examine the role of gender, language, placement instability, cognitive stimulation, and emotional support on patterns of stability and change of emotion regulation over time; and (3) elucidate the role of emotion regulation/dysregulation patterns on later academic achievement. This study utilized data from the first cohort of the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being. Results using LCA and LTA models indicated stability and change in emotionally regulated vs. emotionally dysregulated latent classes across 4, 5, and 6 ½ years of age. Placement instability significantly increased the likelihood of being classified as emotionally dysregulated at wave 1. Moreover, children classified as emotionally dysregulated by age 6 ½ scored significantly lower than children who were classified as emotionally regulated on measures of reading and math achievement by age 10. Based on these findings, placement stability at first contact with CPS should be promoted in order to prevent cascading negative effects on emotion regulation. Additionally, children who are more emotionally dysregulated by the time they transition to formal schooling should receive increased socioemotional and socioemotional learning supports.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health