Self-regulated learning (SRL) skills and their importance to the learning process have been examined in recent years among typically developed children aged three through seven years. The current study is, to the best of our knowledge, the first to investigate SRL among children at risk for specific learning disorders (SLD risk). The study has two main goals: to compare an SLD-risk group with a typically developing group of young children, aged 5.10 to 6.10, in their SRL skills and in the quality of execution of construction tasks and to examine the correlations between SRL skills, cognitive ability, and the quality of execution of construction tasks. A multi-method approach included cognitive ability (verbal and non-verbal) tests; online observation of metacognitive skills (monitoring, control, perseveration) during construction tasks; teacher rating of emotional, prosocial, cognitive, and motivational skills (CHILD questionnaire); and an indicator for the assessment of children’s quality of execution scores in construction tasks. The findings indicate that children at risk for SLDs have specific difficulties in metacognition skills, expressed in poorer monitoring and control and greater perseveration behaviors; lower levels of emotional, prosocial, cognitive, and motivational skills; and poorer quality of execution of the construction task compared with that of the typically developing group. Furthermore, a correlation was found between children’s verbal and non-verbal abilities, SRL skills, and quality of execution of the construction task. These findings deepen the understanding of specific difficulties in SRL skills for children at risk for SLDs and may contribute to the development of targeted intervention programs adapted to their specific needs.
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- Self-regulated learning
- Typically developing young children
- Young children at risk for specific learning disorders