Does emotion regulation compensate deficits in various executive functions in children's and adolescents' mathematical achievement?

Kahl, Tobias and Grob, Alexander and Möhring, Wenke. (2021) Does emotion regulation compensate deficits in various executive functions in children's and adolescents' mathematical achievement? Learning and Individual Differences, 89. p. 102034.

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Many children and adolescents experience negative emotions while learning mathematics and it is likely that children with a more adaptive way of regulating their emotions perform better in mathematics. This conclusion was indeed supported by recent research. A different line of research suggested that emotion regulation could compensate for low fluid intelligence in children's mathematical achievement indicating that a similar compensation effect may exist for other cognitive skills. Building on this research, the aims of the current study were to investigate whether a) emotion regulation is associated with mathematical achievement in children and adolescents and b) whether emotion regulation can buffer working memory (WM) capacities in the mathematical domain. In an additional set of exploratory analyses, we tested whether these interaction effects hold for other core components of executive functions (EFs) such as inhibition and cognitive flexibility. A large sample of 7- to 15-year-olds ( N = 992) was tested using the Intelligence and Development Scales - 2. We tested the hypotheses with multiple regression analyses with EFs as predictor variables, knowledge of emotion regulation strategies (emotion regulation) as moderator variable, and mathematical achievement as outcome variable. Results showed relations between children's and adolescents' emotion regulation and their mathematical achievement across mid-childhood to mid-adolescence. Furthermore, children's and adolescents' emotion regulation compensates low WM in participants' mathematical achievement, which was not found for inhibitory skills or cognitive flexibility. Our results highlight the dynamic relation between WM and emotional abilities in students' academic success.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Society & Choice > Entwicklungs- und Persönlichkeitspsychologie (Grob)
UniBasel Contributors:Möhring, Wenke and Grob, Alexander and Kahl, Peter Tobias
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:27 Jul 2023 11:07
Deposited On:06 Sep 2021 10:31

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