Rola Wakid

Doctorate Scholarship at the field of Emotional development and learning disabilities

The relationship between selective attention and emotion regulation in childhood and how this link affects the child’s academic performance.

Research topic: During elementary school years, good emotion regulation skills predict better academic, social, and mental health outcomes (Jones et al., 2017), the development of emotion regulation skills is linked with attention development (Pessoa et al., 2002). Studies suggest that emotions can be modulated by different attentional processes, such as selective attention (Cohen et al., 2011; Okon- Singer et al., 2013).

Selective attention has an impact on domains considered essential to academic achievement in children, such as language (Sussman & Steinschneider, 2009), literacy (Valdois et al., 2004; Vidyasagar, 2005; Vidyasagar & Pammer, 2009), and mathematics (Checa & Rueda, 2011). Furthermore, selective attention was found to be important for establishing the neural circuits associated with efficient reading (Stevens& Bavelier, 2012).

Why is my research important for education and/or clinical practice? Understanding the psychological mechanisms that subserve emotion regulation success is highly important if we wish to understand emotional and social problems. Examining the link between selective attention and emotion regulation in childhood may lead to better school intervention for enhancing academic performance from an early age. Furthermore, such interventions can help children cope with social difficulties with peers and adults, during this crucial period when they spend more time at school than with parents and caregivers. 

 In the future, this knowledge can help forming novel interventions to improve emotion regulation skills among children. These interventions can also contribute to better academic and social achievements.