Document Type

Capstone Project (Campus-Only Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


Human Development & Family Science


Human Development and Family Science

First Advisor

Christi Cervantes


This capstone project focuses on emotional regulation skills in first graders. In first grade, children tend to go through a variety of different emotions each day. One of the biggest challenges when it comes to working with first graders is how they manage those emotions. Self-regulation is a child’s ability to manage their emotional behaviors (Clark et al., 2020). When young children are overcome with emotions, their natural responses can potentially cause negative outcomes. When emotional dysregulation occurs, children tend to react with aggression which can take the form of hitting, screaming, kicking, etc. While observing at the after school YMCA program, I noticed many of the first graders react with physical or verbal aggression whenever they feel strong negative emotions. This demonstrates a need for improving self-regulation in order to prevent situations where children can be physically and emotionally harmed, which can also help to encourage more positive outcomes. Based on this need, I developed a series of three lessons that teach emotional regulation skills. The goal was to help children recognize emotions, communicate their emotions, and cope with emotions. My participants were a group of first graders, aged six and seven, who are enrolled in an after school program at Spreckels Elementary School.

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