Low-income children's self-regulation in the classroom: Scientific inquiry for social change

C. Cybele Raver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over 21% of children in the United States today are poor, and the income gap between our nation's richest and poorest children has widened dramatically over time. This article considers children's self-regulation as a key mediating mechanism through which poverty has deleterious consequences for their later life outcomes. Evidence from field experiments suggests that low-income children's self-regulation is modifiable by early educational intervention, offering a powerful policy option for reducing poverty's negative impact. The author discusses ways that scientific models of self-regulation can be expanded to include multiple developmental periods and real-world classroom contexts. Recommendations for advances in research design, measurement, and analysis are discussed, as are implications for policy formation and evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)681-689
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2012


  • Emotion
  • Executive function
  • Poverty
  • Prevention
  • Self-regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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