Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2020


There has been a shift in the kindergarten classroom from one filled with play and exploration to one filled with academic rigor. In response to this, the focus of many preschool classrooms have also shifted to focus more on academic development rather than social emotional development. Executive function skills, which include inhibitory control, working memory and cognitive flexibility have been found to predict academic success and school readiness more than IQ. Self-regulation which refers to controlling behavior in response to a stimulus is interrelated with executive function and also is a predictor of success. Caregivers and early childhood classrooms must support executive function and self-regulation skills. This literature review of scholarly journal articles will provide evidence of how executive function and self-regulation are intertwined, how they play a role in social-emotional and academic development in early childhood and the science behind their development, along with factors that may influence this development. Finally, included are techniques that can help support this development at home and in the classroom.