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Scholars from multiple disciplines claim that self-regulation is an essential skill and motivation for positive developmental outcomes (e.g., Mischel, 2014; Moffitt et al., 2011; Tangney, Baumeister, & Boone, 2004). More specifically, self-regulation might play a central role for children’s school achievement (e.g., Blair, Ursache, Greenberg, Vernon-Feagans, & Investigators, 2015; McClelland et al., 2007; McClelland & Cameron, 2011; Suchodoletz, Trommsdorff, Heikamp, Wieber, & Gollwitzer, 2009). In spite of numerous studies on self-regulation in North America and Europe, relations between self-regulation and school achievement rarely have been studied in diverse contexts, taking into account the aspects of gender, parenting, and culture. Specifically, past research mostly neglected to study the development of self-regulation in diverse cultural contexts (Trommsdorff, 2012; Trommsdorff & Cole, 2011). In Latin American contexts, relations between self-regulation and school achievement have rarely been studied. Moreover, there is a lack of studies on socialization conditions for children's self-regulation and school achievement by taking into account the role of cultural and intra-cultural contexts. Further, past research mostly investigated behavior regulation as predictor for school achievement without considering a wider conceptualization of self-regulation including the aspects behavior and emotion regulation. In three studies, the present dissertation investigated relations between different aspects of self-regulation (i.e., behavior regulation, emotion regulation) and school achievement in contexts by taking into consideration the aspects gender, parenting, and culture. While the first study focused on the role of gender for self-regulation and school achievement, the second study included socialization conditions (i.e., parenting) for children's development of self-regulation and adaptation to the school context in diverse cultural contexts (Germany, Chile). The third study examined effects of intra-cultural differences in mothers’ level of education on children's self-regulation and school achievement in Chile. The first study of the present dissertation addressed gender differences in self-regulation and school achievement by taking into account different aspects of self-regulation, namely behavior and emotion regulation. This study examined whether gender differences in school achievement favoring girls can be explained by self-regulation. Self-regulation (i.e., behavior and emotion regulation) of 53 German fifth grade students was assessed by teachers’ and children’s ratings. School achievement (i.e., language and mathematics achievement) was measured using formal academic performance tests as well as grades for language and mathematics. Results revealed that girls’ higher language achievement was partly explained by gender differences in behavior regulation. Regarding mathematics achievement, the results showed a suppression effect of behavior regulation. Thus, boys’ mathematics achievement was underestimated when the analyses did not control for behavior regulation. The second study expanded the research question of the first study by examining relations between parenting, children’s self-regulation and school achievement in two diverse cultural contexts. Specifically, this study investigated relations between maternal restrictive control, children’s self-regulation (i.e., behavior and emotion regulation), and school achievement in Germany and Chile. The samples consisted of 76 German and 167 Chilean fourth grade students, their mothers, and their teachers. While maternal restrictive control was rated by mothers, self-regulation was rated by children, mothers, and teachers. School achievement was measured by grades for language and mathematics. This study showed that behavior regulation and anger-oriented emotion regulation were higher for German children than for Chilean children. Chilean mothers were found to use more restrictive control than German mothers. Further, results revealed positive relations between children’s behavior regulation and school achievement as well as negative relations between maternal restrictive control and children’s self-regulation in both cultural contexts. Thus, the second study showed cultural mean differences in parenting and children’s self-regulation but no cultural differences in the relations among the variables. The third study took a closer look on intra-cultural differences in Chile by examining the relation between mothers’ level of education and children’s school achievement. The study investigated whether this relation can be explained by socialization conditions (mothers’ values, parenting) and children’s behavior regulation. The behavior regulation of 167 Chilean fourth grade students was measured by mothers’, teachers’, and children’s ratings. Mothers’ values (self-transcendence values) and parenting practices (maternal restrictive control) were evaluated by mothers. School achievement was measured by grades for language and mathematics. Results revealed positive relations between mothers’ level of education and children’s school achievement. Further, the study showed that these relations were partly explained by mothers’ values (self-transcendence values), parenting practices (maternal restrictive control), and children’s behavior regulation. Moreover, children’s behavior regulation was shown to be of central importance to explain relations between mothers’ level of education and children’s school achievement. In sum, the present dissertation contributes to the understanding of developmental conditions and outcomes of self-regulation in contexts. By showing positive relations between children’s behavior regulation and school achievement, when taking into account gender, parenting practices as well as diverse cultural contexts, this dissertation highlights the central function of behavior regulation for school achievement in contexts. Moreover, the dissertation underlines the importance of considering the roles of gender, parenting, intra-cultural differences, and diverse cultural contexts when studying developmental conditions and outcomes of self-regulation. The results of this dissertation are discussed within the theoretical framework of developmental conditions and outcomes of self-regulation in diverse contexts. Moreover, implications for the development of context adapted intervention programs to promote self-regulation are addressed.
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