Emotional and Behavioral Problems and Planning Abilities of 4-Year-Old Children

Rima Breidokienė, Roma Jusienė, Dovilė Butkienė


The first indications of planning abilities are regarded an important developmental achievement. Planning is future-oriented behavior that involves the representation of, preparation for a future goal (Atance & Jackson, 2009; Gauvain, 2001). A substantial body of studies reveals that planning abilities are associated with child’s cognitive development and are important predictors of academic achievements. However, less is known about how planning is associated with child’s everyday functioning. The aim of the research is to determine relations between planning abilities and psychosocial adjustment as reflected by emotional and behavioral problems at home and in other social environment. This research is part of a longitudinal study. The subjects were 133 children (66 boys and 67 girls, the mean age 50.3 months) who participated in the research. “Truck Loading” (Carlson et al., 2004; Fagot & Gauvain, 1997) was used to assess children’s planning abilities. Emotional and behavioral problems were measured by CBCL/1½-5 (maternal reports) and C-TRF (caregiver-teacher reports) (Achenbach & Rescorla, 2000). With regard to children’s reasoning abilities, age and parental education, children with different planning abilities differed in the mean scores of emotional and behavioral problems; however, the differences depended on the reporter. According to maternal reports, children with low planning abilities had the lowest scores of somatic complains, emotional problems and total problems, whereas according to caregiver reports, children with low planning abilities had the highest scores of anxiety, withdrawal, emotional problems, attention problems and total problems. Children with higher scores of planning abilities may show more emotional problems at home and in parent-child relationships. However, in kindergarten they are characterized by better psychosocial adjustment.

Keywords: planning abilities, behavioral and emotional problems, preschool age.

How to cite: Breidokienė, R., Jusienė, R., & Butkienė, D. (2015). Keturmečių planavimo gebėjimai ir emociniai bei elgesio sunkumai [Emotional and behavioral problems and planning abilities of 4-year-old children]. Ugdymo psichologija, 26, 7–26. http://dx.doi.org/10.15823/up.2015.02

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