Measuring preschoolers' behavioral self-regulation in the contexts of child–adult interactions

Shuang Wang, Cong Liu, Elizabeth M. Byrne, Hongbin Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Children's self-regulation is associated with their concurrent and long-term school achievement. Theorists have argued the importance of child–adult interactions in the development of children's self-regulatory skills. However, empirical findings are mixed and have produced small or modest effect sizes, which could be due to the low ecological validity of the self-regulation measures typically used. In this study, an adult-reported scale, the Child Self-Regulation in Interaction Scale (CSIS), was developed to measure preschoolers' behavioral self-regulation in their daily interactions with adults. The psychometric properties of CSIS were also examined. A total of 1015 children and their mothers from multiple regions in China participated in this study. Factor analysis indicated that a three-factor model (namely Inhibition, Updating, and Shifting) was the best fit for the data. The CSIS also had good internal consistency, test–retest reliability, and convergent and criterion validity. Additionally, the three-factor model showed satisfactory gender and longitudinal measurement invariance. The results suggest that the CSIS is a reliable and valid instrument. Children’s self-regulatory behaviors may vary in different contexts. A context-specific measure of self-regulation may have stronger ecological validity by tapping into context-specific behavioral demands and is thus likely to have greater value and utility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14523-14537
Number of pages15
JournalCurrent Psychology
Issue number16
Early online date27 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


  • Behavioral self-regulation
  • Child–adult interactions
  • Context
  • Ecological Validity
  • Psychometric properties

Cite this