Children’s self-regulation skills in the Finnish day care environment

Children’s self-regulation skills in the Finnish day care environment


Author(s): Jouni Veijalainena (, Jyrki Reunamob & Alisa Alijokib

Source: Journal of Early Childhood Education Research; Vol 6(1), p. 89-107.

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Abstract: The topic of how children’s self-regulation (SR) skills occur and develop has attracted researchers for decades. In this article, we focus on the content of children’s SR skills and their relation to children’s learning, social skills and special needs in the context of Finnish early childhood education (ECE). The SR skills of 2476 children, aged 13–89 months, were evaluated in day care centres between January and May 2015. Teachers completed questionnaires assessing children’s SR, social, motor, language and metacognitive skills, as well as the children’s adaptivity in peer relations and their attachment to ECE personnel. The results relate to previous studies showing how SR skills are highly related to children’s ability to cope in social interaction and in terms of gender. The boys’ SR skills were statistically significantly much weaker than girls’. Good SR skills also correlated positively with children’s performance in metacognitive and motor skills. Weak SR skills had a strong connection to the child’s qualification as having special needs. Children’s SR skills may have an important role in helping children to regulate their development appropriately and to participate in creating a socially shared learning environment.

Author-Supplied Keywords: self-regulation, early childhood education, child, skills, emotions

ISSN: 2323-7414

ISSN-L: 2323-7414 online

Author Affiliation: aUniversity of Helsinki, Finland, bUniversity of Helsinki, Finland