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The Attention Training Technique improves Children's ability to delay gratification: A controlled comparison with progressive relaxation.

MURRAY, Joanne, SCOTT, Helen, CONNOLLY, Claire and WELLS, Adrian (2018) The Attention Training Technique improves Children's ability to delay gratification: A controlled comparison with progressive relaxation. Behaviour Research and Therapy., 104. pp. 1-6. ISSN 0005-7967

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Abstract or description

Abstract
The ability to delay gratification at a young age is a predictor of psychological, cognitive, health, and academic later-life outcomes. This study aimed to extend earlier research and explore whether a metacognitive intervention, Wells’ (1990) Attention Training Technique (ATT), could improve young children’s ability to delay gratification compared to an active-control (Progressive Muscle Relaxation: PMR), and no-intervention group. One hundred and one children aged 5-6 years old were recruited from schools. Classes of children were randomly allocated to either the ATT, PMR or no-intervention condition and tested at pre- and post-intervention on measures of delay of gratification (the Marshmallow Test) and verbal inhibition (Day/Night Task). Results showed that, even when covariates were controlled for, following ATT, children delayed gratification significantly longer than following PMR or no-intervention. ATT also improved verbal inhibition compared with the non-intervention group, whilst PMR did not. The results add to earlier findings; ATT appears to provide a simple and effective way of improving young children’s ability to delay gratification which has previously been shown to predict positive outcomes in later-life.
Keywords: children, attention training technique, executive function, delay of gratification, metacognition

Item Type: Article
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Psychology
Depositing User: Helen SCOTT
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2018 15:15
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2018 15:16
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/4191

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