Taiwan Social Skill Development Study

Funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Program, Shannon Wanless and her advisor, Dr. Megan McClelland from Oregon State University, conducted the Taiwan Social Skill Development Study for her dissertation. The primary goals of this research were to examine the use of the Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders (HTKS) self-regulation task in Taiwan, a country with high academic achievement. Wanless lived in Taiwan for 9 months and returned the following year, to collect data tracking almost 200 Taiwanese preschoolers for an 18 month period. Analyses suggested the HTKS captured variability in self-regulation skills and was predictive of math and vocabulary skills. Girls and boys did not show significantly different self-regulation skills, as they often do in the United States, In addition, two distinct developmental trajectories of self-regulation emerged, reflecting a steadily increasing pathway and a more level, then increasing pathway. Details can be found in papers from this and other international HTKS papers listed here, and included in a recent double-special issue of Early Education and Development edited by McClelland & Wanless.