Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Early Education and Development

For a Special Issue on

Supporting Early Learning and School Readiness: A Multi-Dimensional and Multi-Contextual Approach to Understanding Self-Regulation

Manuscript deadline
01 January 2025

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Jeffrey R. Gagne, Texas A&M University
[email protected]

Christine Pajunar Li-Grining, Loyola University Chicago
[email protected]

Guadalupe Díaz Lara, California State University-Fullerton
[email protected]

Marisha Humphries, University of Illinois, Chicago
[email protected]

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Supporting Early Learning and School Readiness: A Multi-Dimensional and Multi-Contextual Approach to Understanding Self-Regulation

In this special issue, we intend to examine self-regulation and its role in early learning during the transition to elementary school by integrating perspectives that reflect cognitive, linguistic, and emotional domains of self-regulation,1-4 family influences, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status (SES). Put differently, we seek to bring together a group of studies that offer a comprehensive understanding of how self-regulation functions via different perspectives and within various contexts, to inform efforts to support young children’s early learning and school readiness.


While situating self-regulation in socioeconomic and sociocultural contexts, the field must continue extending knowledge of cognitive, linguistic, and emotional dimensions of self-regulation, rather than focusing on one definition. Various approaches to studying self-regulation include the theoretical contexts of delay of gratification and willpower, the cognitive neuroscience executive functioning (EF) approach, bio-behavioral or neurophysiological methods, the influence of multilingualism, and the behavioral and emotional temperament perspective.3,5 These ways of examining self-regulation involve differences in conceptual frameworks, methodology, measurement, and the age of the children of focus.6-7 Although contemporary self-regulation theory and research typically reflects either the EF or the temperament effortful control (EC) approach,8 it is critical to recognize that self-regulation processes can be cognitive, linguistic, and emotional.9


Understanding children’s development of self-regulation requires awareness of the contexts in which they live, and knowledge of both their development and environment can inform efforts to support children. Ways of defining parent and family influences on children’s self-regulation have broadened beyond traditional approaches that centered on proximal factors such as quality of caregiving.10-11 For example, self-regulation has been examined in both socioeconomic and sociocultural contexts,12-13 which involve several demographic, cultural, and linguistic characteristics of children and families. These characteristics include race/ethnicity, SES, immigration status, and multilingual learner status. Therefore, increasingly important are studies that measure multiple aspects of child and family environments and include theories that take varied approaches to studying parent and family contexts of self-regulation, learning, and school readiness.

Suggested topics include:

  • Research that incorporates data on cognitive, linguistic, or emotional approaches to self-regulation, cultural and family influences, early learning, school readiness, or challenges experienced when transitioning to elementary school. This can include bio-behavioral or neurophysiological methods.
  • Investigations that include multiple types of measures that reflect cognitive, linguistic, and emotional dimensions of self-regulation and various aspects of socioeconomic and sociocultural contexts (e.g., EF tasks, EC episodes and tasks, school readiness measures, academic outcomes, parent ratings of children, parent self-ratings, relevant demographic data).
  • Research on self-regulation interventions that support early learning, school readiness, and the transition to elementary school.
  • Conceptual or theoretical articles, literature reviews or meta-analyses that attempt to reconcile the special issue’s multiple perspectives on self-regulation in the context of learning.

1. Blair, C., & Razza, R. P. (2007). Relating effortful control, executive function, and false belief understanding to emerging math and literacy ability in kindergarten. Child Development, 78, 647–663.
2. Bialystok, E., & Craik, F. I. M. (2022). How does bilingualism modify cognitive function? Attention to the mechanism. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 29(4), 1246-1269.
3. Kim-Spoon, J., Deater-Deckard, K., Calkins, S. D., King-Casas, B., & Bell, M. A. (2019). Commonality between executive functioning and effortful control related to adjustment. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 60, 47–55.
4. Yankelowitz, J. (2023, February). A move towards multilingual: Why this term is better than others [for now]. Multilingual Learners.
5. Gagne, J. R., Liew, J. & Nwadinobi, O. (2021). How does the broader construct of self-regulation relate to emotion regulation in young children? Developmental Review, 60, online.
6. Zhou, Q., Chen, S. H., & Main, A. (2012). Commonalities and differences in the research on children’s effortful control and executive function: A call for an integrated model of self-regulation. Child Development Perspectives, 6, 112–121.
7. Tiego, J., Bellgrove, M. A., Whittle, S., Pantelis, C., & Testa, R. (2020). Common mechanisms of executive attention underlie executive function and effortful control in
children. Developmental Science, 23, [Epub 2019].
8. Liew, J. (2012). Effortful control, executive functions, and education: Bringing self-regulatory and social-emotional competencies to the table. Child Development Perspectives, 6, 105–111.
9. O’Toole, S.E., Monks, C.P., Tsermentseli, S. & Rix, K. (2020). The contribution of cool and hot executive function to academic achievement, learning-related behaviours, and classroom behaviour. Early Child Development and Care, 190, 806-821.
10. Duncan, R.J., McClelland, M.M. & Acock, A.C. (2017). Relations between executive function, behavioral regulation, and achievement: Moderation by family income. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 49, 21-30.
11. Ross, K.M., Letourneau, N., Climie, E., Giesbrecht, G., & Dewey, D. (2020). Perinatal Maternal Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms and Child Executive Function and Attention at Two-years of Age. Dev Neuropsychol, 45, 380-395.
12. Li-Grining, C. P. (2007). Effortful control among low-income preschoolers in three cities: Stability, change, and individual differences. Developmental Psychology, 43(1), 208–221.
13. Li-Grining, C. P. (2012). The role of cultural factors in the development of Latino preschoolers' self-regulation. Child Development Perspectives, 6(3): 210–217.

Submission Instructions

Manuscript submissions will initially be screened and reviewed by the guest editors, and papers that fit well with the theme of this special issue will be sent out for blind peer review. In the cover letter, you must specify that your manuscript is being submitted for the Special Issue: Supporting Early Learning and School Readiness: A Multi-Dimensional and Multi-Contextual Approach to Understanding Self-Regulation. Invited authors will submit their blinded manuscripts at


Submissions will follow the journal’s regular blind review process. The guest editors and journal editor will make final acceptance decisions. Manuscripts must strictly conform to the formatting and writing style requirements of the APA Publication Manual (7th edition). Manuscripts that are accepted but not included in the special issue (due to space restrictions or missing the publication deadlines) will be published in a future issue of the journal.


Inquiries regarding this special issue, including an optional letter of intent with a brief description of the planned submission for the special issue, should be directed to the guest editors.


The submission deadline is January 1, 2025


Publication of this special issue is scheduled for January 2026.


Tentative Timeline for the Special Issue

Publication of Call: June 2024

Deadline for submissions: January 1, 2025

First reviews and comments to authors: March 2025

Revisions due and sent for second review if necessary: May 2025

Revision comments to authors: August 2025

Final edits completed by authors: October 2025

Proofs: November 2025

Publication: January 2026

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