Child, Youth, and Family Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Early Education and Development (2016), doi 10.1080/10409289.2016.1151719


Copyright © 2016 Taylor & Francis. Used by permission.


The current study examines the relations between Chinese preschoolers’ social-emotional competence and their preacademic skills, as well as the role of child gender and parental education in such relations. A total of 154 children from the northeastern region of China were involved in the study. Both parents and head teachers of the target children completed measures of children’s social-emotional competence and preacademic skills.Multiple aspects of social-emotional competence were investigated. The results showed that children’s withdrawn behaviors and attention problems were negatively related to their preacademic skills. Both parent- and teacher-reported positive social behaviors were positively related to children’s preacademic skills. In addition, child gender and parental education together moderated the effects of children’s anxious/depressed problems and parent-reported social behaviors on children’s preacademic skills. Practice or Policy: Teacher training and support are needed to help preschool teachers (a) better support children who are socially withdrawn or have difficulty regulating attention and (b) understand the construct and importance of social-emotional development in relation to children’s preacademic development . In addition, child characteristics such as age and gender and socioeconomic factors need to be taken into consideration in the study of young children’s social-emotional and cognitive competence.