The ability of 3- to 5-year-olds to practice self-control is an important developmental milestone predictive of later success. Dr. Reem Ghandour, an epidemiologist with HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau, collaborated with researchers at the CDC to examine the risks and protective factors that influence this aspect of a child’s development.
The newly published study, Factors Associated with Self-regulation in a Nationally Representative Sample of Children Ages 3–5 Years: United States, 2016, compared the qualities of parents who identify their preschoolers as “on track” to those “not on track” with this developmental skill. Children described as “on track” more often lived in financially and socially advantaged environments and less often experienced family adversity. Only half of children not “on track” received developmental screening and only 25% of children described as “not on track” received educational, mental health, or developmental services.