The proposed research is designed to further our understanding of why mildly delayed young children have difficulty regulating their own behavior to social expectations. My basic premise is that the children do not fully understand expectations for behavior.
The aim of this 3 year study is to provide a comprehensive analysis of children's knowledge of standards, their actions in a situation where standards are expected, and the reported ways that caregivers and teachers facilitate the growth of knowledge for standards. Particular emphasis will be directed toward exploring the different kinds of knowledge children possess. This study will involve 120 mildly delayed and normally developing 4 and 5 years olds, who are matched for developmental age. Data analyses will focus on children's understanding of acceptable and unacceptable behavior, the kinds of knowledge they possess for different situations, and the coherence between child knowledge and child behavior, and caregiver expectations and child behavior. Findings from this study should have implications for teaching and training children who have developmental disabilities.