School readiness: Integrating cognition and emotion in a neurobiological conceptualization of children's functioning at school entry

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Abstract

The author examines the construct of emotionality, developmental relations between cognition and emotion, and neural plasticity and frontal cortical functioning and proposes a developmental neurobiological model of children's school readiness. Direct links are proposed among emotionality, use-dependent synoptic stabilization related to the prefrontal cortex, the development of executive function abilities, and academic and social competence in school settings. The author considers research on the efficacy of preschool compensatory education in promoting school readiness and recommends that programs expand to include curricula directly addressing social and emotional competence. Research should focus on the ontogeny of self-regulation and successful adaptation to the socially defined role of student, the development of prevention research programs to reflect this orientation, and interdisciplinary collaborations that integrate scientific methods and questions in the pursuit of comprehensive knowledge of human developmental processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-127
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Volume57
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2002

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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