This longitudinal study utilized a community sample of children (N = 91, 45% female, 8-11 years at time 1) to investigate physiological responses (heart rate reactivity [HRR] and electrodermal responding [EDR]) during delay of gratification in relation to emotionality, self-regulation, and adjustment problems. Cluster analyses identified three profiles among children who successfully delayed: Children who waited easily with low EDR and moderate HRR, children who had difficulty waiting with high EDR and moderate HRR, and children who had difficulty waiting with low EDR and low HRR. The 3 clusters and children who did not wait were compared. Children with low EDR-low HRR had the lowest self-regulation, and like the no-wait group, demonstrated the greatest baseline adjustment problems. The high EDR-moderate HRR group demonstrated highest self-regulation and increases in depression across one year. Distinct profiles among children in delay contexts point to children who are over- and under-regulated with implications for adjustment problems.
- Adjustment problems
- Delay of gratification
- Middle childhood
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology