Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Environmental Science (MS)

Degree Level



General Human Environmental Sciences


Jennifer Henk

Committee Member

Timothy Killian

Second Committee Member

Mardel Crandall

Third Committee Member

Marta Collier


Education, Effortful control, Montessori


Research in effortful control is necessary to understand and support children's behaviors in Social and classroom settings (Rimm-Kaufman, Curby, Grimm, Brock, & Nathanson, 2009). This study reviewed literature discussing the relationship between parenting style and effortful control and Montessori philosophy as it relates to the work in practical life. The literature reviewed in this study suggested that parenting style may also be related to a child's effortful control. In addition, it was expected that the work of practical life in a Montessori classroom would positively influence effortful control in children. Using an experimental design, this study examined the efficacy of a Montessori Table Washing Task to prime effortful control in children ages 3-6. The Mischel Marshmallow Test (Mischel & Baker 1975) was used to test effortful control in the children. Children in the control group received only the Marshmallow Test. Children in the experiment group received a Montessori Table Washing Lesson prior to receiving the Marshmallow Test. Although not statistically significant, there was a difference in the groups. However, in this study, there was no correlation found between parenting style and the effortful control of the children. Implications of this study are that practical life work, like a Montessori Table Washing Task, may positively affect effortful control in pre-school age children.