Effortful Control and Impulsivity as Concurrent and Longitudinal Predictors of Academic Achievement

Carlos Valiente, Nancy Eisenberg, Tracy Spinrad, Rg Haugen, Marilyn Thompson, Anne Kupfer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The goal of this study was to test if both effortful control (EC) and impulsivity, a reactive index of temperament, uniquely predict adolescents' academic achievement, concurrently and longitudinally (Time 1: N = 168, x- age = 12 years). At Time 1, parents and teachers reported on students' EC and impulsivity. At both time points, spaced 2 years apart, parents and teachers reported on students' achievement. In a concurrent regression, both EC and impulsivity were positively related to achievement. At T1, there was evidence of a nonlinear relation between impulsivity and achievement, and the shape of the quadratic was dependent on if EC was simultaneously considered. Results from a longitudinal analysis demonstrated that although parent-reported impulsivity was generally negatively correlated with achievement, EC, but not impulsivity, was prospectively, uniquely related to achievement. The discussion highlights the value of considering adolescents' EC and impulsivity in models of school success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)946-972
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Early Adolescence
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • academic achievement
  • effortful control
  • impulsivity
  • longitudinal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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