Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Childhood Education and Literacy Studies

Major Professor

Ilene Berson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jolyn Blank, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Elena Bodrova, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer Wolgemuth, Ph.D.


emotional self-regulation, socio-cultural theory, video elicitation


Given the importance of emotional self-regulation to a child’s ability to develop social competence and prosocial behavior, and the significant role early childhood teachers play in supporting young children’s emotional self-regulation, it is important to explore the concept from the perspective of teachers, or from the socio-cultural context through which they (i.e., teachers) make sense of the world.

This study used an exploratory case study methodology to explore the understandings of emotional self-regulation among three Head Start teachers working with varying socio-cultural contexts and to identify the socio-cultural perspectives that influenced their ability to effectively apply their understandings.

Findings indicate that while the participants’ definitions of emotional self- regulation were aligned with those that are commonly used in the field, it was their implementation of strategies that diverged, reflecting the influence of learning goals and varying socio-cultural contexts.