The implications of early attentional regulation for school success among low-income children

Rachel A. Razza, Anne Martin, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


This study examined the longitudinal associations between attentional regulation in preschool and children's school success in later elementary school within an at-risk sample (N = 2595). Specifically, two facets of attention (focused attention and lack of impulsivity) at age 5 were explored as independent predictors of children's achievement and behavioral competence at age 9. Overall, the pattern of results indicates specificity between the facets of attention and school success, such that focused attention was predictive of achievement outcomes whereas impulsivity was predictive of behavioral outcomes. Both facets of attention predicted the teacher ratings of children's approaches to learning, which suggests that they jointly influence skills that span both domains of school success. Poverty status, maternal warmth, and infant temperament did not moderate these associations. Implications of these findings for interventions targeting school readiness and success among at-risk children are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-319
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Academic achievement
  • Behavioral competence
  • Focused attention
  • Impulsivity
  • Low-income children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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