Research Update: Self Regulation, Cursive, Autism and Communication, and Motor Performance

Preschool Classroom Processes as Predictors of Children’s Cognitive Self-Regulation Skills Development

An article to be published in School Psychology Quarterly describes the findings of a large study of preschool classroom in the US Southeast. The researchers found that preschool classroom environments had an impact on the development of executive functioning.  More specifically, they found that positive interactions in the classroom supported the development of self-regulation skills. The researchers discuss the need for more preventative classroom management, rather than using “behavior disapproval” to correct young children.

The Influence of Childhood Aerobic Fitness on Learning and Memory

In this article, published in the open-access journal PLOS One, researchers compared the performance on a recall and learning task between children with higher and lower levels of fitness. They found that initial learning was similar across fitness levels, but longer retention of information was associated with children with high levels of aerobic fitness.

Autistic children with better motor skills more adept at socializing

From the journal, Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, researcher Megan MacDonald from Oregon State University led a study that looked at children with autism spectrum disorders and physical ability. The study found that, in young children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, those with better motor skills were also more able to communicate and socialize. Positive relationships were also found with physical ability and performance of daily living skills. These findings may indicate the importance of addressing physical development in autism intervention, as well as the potential benefit of collaboration among different team members, including physical, occupational, and speech and language therapists.

The Effects of Manuscript, Cursive or Manuscript/Cursive Styles on Writing Development in Grade 2

This article, available in full from the open-access journal Language and Literacy, found a positive correlation between writing speed and word and text production. The authors also found that writing speed improved over the course of the year, no matter what style of writing was taught, but that letter formation did not improve in quality over the year. Additionally, the study found that students who were taught both types of handwriting did not perform as well in spelling, and those who were taught only cursive demonstrated greater improvements in syntax.


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