Early Literacy Research Library (ELRL) - Metric

Preschool Self-Regulation Assessment (PSRA)


Access: FREE/Open Access

evaluation focus

Child Self-Regulation (emotional, attentional, behavioral)

applicable ages

Grade: Preschool

available language(s)

English and Spanish

additional materials

PSRA Toolkit


The Preschool Self-Regulation Assessment (PSRA) is an instrument that can be used to assess several domains of self-regulation skills in young children. PSRA items were adapted for use in field contexts like school settings from previously lab-based tasks.


3 Self-Regulation Domains Assessed:

    • Emotional
    • Attentional
    • Behavioral

Types of Tasks:

    • Delay (4x): assess effortful control
        • toy wrap
        • toy wait
        • snack delay
        • tongue task
    • Executive Control (2x): filtering competing stimuli
        • balance beam
        • tower task
    • “Do” (3x): measure compliance
        • tower cleanup
        • toy sort
        • toy return

Assessment Format: direct assessment as child completes a standard battery of tests


Internal Consistency in a Head Start Sample:

    • Attention/Impulse Control, Fall—Long α = .931
    • Attention/Impulse Control, Spring—Long α = .923
    • Attention/Impulse Control, Fall—Short α = .933
    • Attention/Impulse Control, Spring—Short α = .926
    • Positive Emotion, Fall—Long α = .869
    • Positive Emotion, Spring—Long α = .822
    • Positive Emotion, Fall—Short α = .871
    • Positive Emotion, Spring—Short α = .842

Source: https://steinhardt.nyu.edu/ihdsc/projects/csrp/preschool-self-regulation-assessment-psra

Source: https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Ft71117-000

supporting literature

Smith-Donald, R., Raver, C.C., Hayes, T., Richardson, B. (2007) Preliminary Construct and Concurrent Validity of the Preschool Self-Regulation Assessment (PSRA) for Field-Based Research. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 22, 173-187.
PDF: PSRA – 1 – Smith-Donald 2007
Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0885200607000051

Bassett, H.H., Denham, S., Wyatt, T.M., Warren-Khot, H.K. (2012) Refining the Preschool Self-Regulation Assessment for Use in Preschool Classrooms. Infant Child Development, 21, 596-616
PDF: PSRA – 2 – Bassett 2012
Link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/icd.1763

Smith-Donald, R., Raver, C.C., Hayes, T., Richardson, B. (2007) Preschool Self-Regulation Assessment (PSRA). [Database record] APA PsycTests.
PDF: PSRA – 3 – Smith-Donald 2007
Link: https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Ft71117-000