Choosing Immediate Over Delayed Gratification Correlates With Better School-Related Outcomes in a Sample of Children of Color From Low-Income Families

Chelsea A.K. Duran, David W. Grissmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Delayed, as opposed to immediate, gratification is generally understood to indicate adaptive development. The present study investigates performance on a choice-based delay of gratification measure and its relations with other outcomes in a sample of children of color from low-income families, who are underrepresented in delayed gratification research. The 6-item choice delay of gratification task, administered at the start of kindergarten (Mage = 5.5 years), exhibited good reliability. Items were largely equal in difficulty, but not equally discriminant. Children who chose immediate gratification had better executive function and were rated higher than their peers by their kindergarten teachers on behavioral measures; patterns in relations with first grade classroom behavior were similar, but weaker and not robust to controls. Choosing immediate gratification was also positively related to concurrent and later achievement, but not after controlling for executive function. These observations reinforce a need to clarify constructs underlying delay of gratification choices within groups of children underrepresented in this line of research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDevelopmental psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Psychological Association.

Keywords

  • Delay of gratification
  • Poverty
  • Racial minorities
  • Schooling
  • Self-regulation

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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