Abstract: WITHDRAWN: Multi-Method Assessment of 5-Day Targeted Self-Regulation Training for School Readiness (Society for Prevention Research 27th Annual Meeting)

248 WITHDRAWN: Multi-Method Assessment of 5-Day Targeted Self-Regulation Training for School Readiness

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Pacific D/L (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Sharon L. Lo, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MA
Jason S. Moser, PhD, Associate Professor, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
C. Emily Durbin, PhD, Professor, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
The ability to regulate behavioral and emotional reactivity, known as effortful control (EC), develops rapidly in early childhood and is strongly associated with important life outcomes. Thus, EC has become a popular target for intervention. Current EC-related interventions have yielded small, but positive gains, and are either extremely resource intensive (e.g., year-long school curriculum, home-visiting programs) or not generalizable to EC-related skills (e.g., computer-based training). Few studies have evaluated EC training that are shorter in duration that tap specified domains of EC. The present study tested a 5-day EC training for children entering Kindergarten that was designed to target attentional and inhibitory control, two core components of EC.

Children aged 4-5 years (N = 48), selected for low-to-moderate parent-reported EC skills, were age- and gender-matched into training and passive control groups. Children completed baseline assessments 1-2 weeks prior to completing targeted EC training, and post-assessments 1-2 weeks following the training. Training activities were developed based on existing school readiness interventions and consisted of small- and large-group exercises practicing performance-based EC tasks (e.g., Red Light Purple Light, Simon Says). Multimethod assessment was used to evaluate EC skills at multiple levels of analysis (i.e., neural, behavioral, and informant-reported). Behavioral measures were drawn from the NIH Toolbox for Executive Functioning and included other commonly used measures to assess motor inhibition and attention. Parent-reported measures included the Child Behavior Checklist and Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning. Children also completed neurophysiological assessments using developmentally appropriate versions of response inhibition tasks.

Mixed Repeated Measure ANOVA results indicated that training groups exhibited improvements in several tasks that were not practiced in training, and better parent-reported inhibition as compared to control groups. However, effects of training-induced changes in EC were small across method. This contrasts with results from previous training studies using similar measures that reported changes in behavioral and neural measures that were larger in effect. The present results are consistent with more recent reviews demonstrating that computer-based cognitive training targeting working memory and other EC-related skills do not produce significant effects of improved cognitive abilities, attention, EC-related skills, behavior, or academic functioning in children and young adults. Findings support the need for more studies integrating multiple methods in order to identify more sensitive measurements of EC during this critical period of development.