Date of Graduation

Summer 2012


Master of Science in Early Childhood and Family Development


Early Childhood and Family Development

Committee Chair

Joanna Cemore Brigden


private speech, inner speech, self-regulation, social engagement, preschoolers

Subject Categories

Child Psychology


This paper examined how the development of private speech is related to young children's self-regulation skills, which involve planning, attention focus, working memory, and inhibitory control. Different aspects of private speech, especially the relationship with self-regulation, self-reflectivity, and social engagement were examined. Participants were 36 children, aged four and five. The data on their private speech and social engagement were collected from classroom observations during free playtime. Their natural interactions with their peers and teachers were videotaped for thirty minutes per child. A modified version of the Preschool Self-Regulation Assessment (PSRA, Smith-Donald, Raver, Hayes, & Richardson, 2007) was also used to assess their self-regulation skills and collect the private speech of the participants. Contradictory to the expectations, private speech was not collected from most participants during the challenging tasks provided to assess self-regulation skills. However, private speech collected from videotaping of naturalistic observations was used for analysis. There was no statistically significant relationship found between private speech and self-regulation skills or between private speech and social engagement. Trends in the correlations include a negative relationship between the self-regulation tasks and private speech and a positive relationship between social engagement and self-regulation skills, such as turn taking skill.


© Mariko Kinoshita

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