The development of regulatory functions from birth to 5 Years: Insights from premature infants

Ruth Feldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

210 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined physiological, emotional, and attentional regulatory functions as predictors of self-regulation in 125 infants followed 7 times from birth to 5 years. Physiological regulation was assessed by neonatal vagal tone and sleep-wake cyclicity; emotion regulation by response to stress at 3, 6, and 12 months; and attention regulation by focused attention and delayed response in the 2nd year. Executive functions, behavior adaptation, and self-restraint were measured at 5 years. Regulatory functions showed stability across time, measures, and levels. Structural modeling demonstrated both mediated paths from physiological to self-regulation through emotional and attentional processes and direct continuity between vagal tone and each level of regulation. Results support the coherence of the regulation construct and are consistent with neurobiological models on self and consciousness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-561
Number of pages18
JournalChild Development
Volume80
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2009

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