Research published in JAMA Pediatrics has found there are a wide range of different approaches that can be effective in improving self-regulation skills (the ability to control emotions, avoid inappropriate or aggressive behaviour and engage in self-directed learning) in children and teenagers.
Anuja Pandey and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of evaluations of interventions designed to improve pupils’ self-regulation. Data from 49 studies with a total of more than 23,000 pupils ranging in age from 2 to 17 years was examined. The interventions were classified as curriculum-based programmes (n=21), mindfulness and yoga interventions (n=8), family-based programmes (n=9), exercise-based programmes (n=6) and interventions focused on social and personal skills (n= 6).
The researchers found that:
- Most interventions (n=33) were successful in improving pupils’ ability to manage behaviour and emotion.
- A meta-analysis showed there was a positive effect of the interventions with self-regulation task performance scores, with a pooled effect size of +0.42.
- There was no age group in which interventions were more effective.
While a curriculum-based approach was most commonly used to deliver interventions, the study found that self-regulation interventions can be effective in family settings targeting parenting practices and sibling relationships.
Source (Open Access): Pandey, A., Hale, D., Das, S., Goddings, A.-L., Blakemore, S.-J. & Viner, R. M. (2018). Effectiveness of Universal Self-regulation–Based Interventions in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Pediatrics, 172(6), 566-575.