Evans and Rosenbaum 2008 Self-Regulation essay

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However, in the case of this study it is a term that is applied to those children who exhibit successful adaptation even though their personal/home environment places them at heighted risk for maladjusted behaviors (141). It would then make sense that those individuals who either had a biological predisposition, or some sort of nurturing behavior outside the home, to retain increased resilience to adversity would be better prepared for emotional maturity and thus perform better with both cogitative and behavioral tasks. These skills, according to this study, are a defining feature in the child's emerging competency level and, if activated at an early enough age, carry through to adulthood. Further research is necessary, though, to understand how educators and psychologists can actively aide individuals in increasing their resiliency levels.

Buckner, et.al. (2003 and 2009) are clearly interested in the demographic and psychographic effects of poverty on behavior and cognition. In both cases their methodology is similar, their population drawn from very similar sources (although from differing age and geographic locations). The studies are clear and convincing when using data on those in poverty for a variety of socio-economic and practical reasons. These children do all share several issues in common: they have more stress in their home lives, their lives are less secure (moving to new areas for financial or other reasons), and often they share the constant fear of external society intruding on their lives (law enforcement, social services, etc.). Using this population, though, Buckner, et.al. are able to offer some cogent insights into what adverse experiences may do to the ability for a broader range of children to actually succeed in school.

Blair, C. And A. Diamond. (2008). "Biological processes in prevention and intervention…"

From previous research we know that there are significant differences in the development of self-regulations in young children, typically based on socio-economic factors. However, what is not clear, and what Professors Blair and Diamond seek to understand, is the interrelations between biological and social influences on the development of self-regulations and how that eventually translates out into behavior and cognitive function. The lines are quite blurry between the process of cognitive development and emotional maturity; with most research pointing to the cognitive maturation process driving the self-regulatory behavior. For instance, it is thought that it takes a certain level of working memory (consequences that may or may not be known), inhibitory control (I could act, but I shouldn't because it is not appropriate), and mental flexibility (there are choices to be made) for a successful self-regulation style. Further, developing self-regulation appears to be a balance between the reactive side (emotion) and the logical side (cognition). It is how well these are balanced that is a good predictor of self-regulation issues. Now that we understand the overview of the process of development, then, the research would suggest that in order to increase the likelihood of school success it is cognitive intervention that should be stressed, not a series of behavioral plans and interventions. Taken further, this brain-mind connection suggest that the key questions to promote self-regulation can be enhanced in many simple ways -- and we do not need to completely understand their chemical nature and properties in order to utilize them to enhance student success.

21st century schools face a number of cultural and environmental issues that interfere with learning. A number of methods are thought to be new and innovative, when oftentimes, it is many tried and true methods that are the most efficacious. To think that simple learning intervention that improves cognition would have such a grand effect on future performance is simply amazing (Buckner, et.al.). Modern neurobiology, in fact, shows us that cognitive functioning and the ability to appropriately form hierarchical relationships is, in fact, diminished when early problems are under addressed. While the brain craves order and familiar patterns, there are many times in public school that the appropriate intervention is not forthcomming, thus resulting in greater adolescent risk (Friedman, et.al.) These issues, in fact, are what Blair and Diamond see as seminal in the school system's ability to adequately serve a population prone to behavior issues and lack of self-regulation.

Buckner, J.E. Mezzacappa, and W. Beardslee. (2009). "Self-Regulation and Its Relations to Adaptive Functioning…"

Previous studies, including the authors' own, tended to link self-regulation in children to specific outcomes within limited domains of functioning. Instead, this study was concerned with the association of self-regulation with a range of indices of adaptive functioning among youth age 8-18 in families of very low income range. As was expected, youths with good self-regulation had better indices of adaptive functioning in social competence, academic achievement, grades, problem behaviors, anxiety, and depression. This indicates that self-regulation is critically important in a range of measurable and necessary indicators of success within the school system.

Because this was a study of extremely high-risk youths, the implications for less riskier groups are also viable. The group had a number of maladaptive behaviors, yet most showed tremendous creativity in dealing with problem stressors. This idea of resilience is also shared in the research population and results of Howse, et.al. (2003). Their data indicated that even as early as kindergarten, children can be highly motivated and resilient to external issues, often based on their ability to become more independent from their home environment (155). While additional research is certainly warranted, the results from Buckner, et.al. (2003) very strongly connect a heightened need to pursue a developmental program focusing on self-regulation in high-risk youth. Other data shows that the way to do this is to increase the robustness and regularity of cognitive function activities and to intercede with a strong push in logical, reasoning, and skills in math and science in order to kick-start the increased development of self-regulation and emotional maturity. Howse, et.al. (2003), in fact shows that the contribution of a set of resilient motivational orientations and self-regulation tendencies tend to be effective in boosting academic scores (165). Both sets of data show that it is imperative that society not wait silently while generations of children are left at-risk. These children become adults who perpetuate the issue. Instead, the findings "hold out the important possibility that targeting self-regulation to improve an outcome in one realm of functioning could lead to beneficial ("spillover") effects in other domains as well" (28).


Blair, C. (2002). "School Readiness- Integrating Cognition and Emotion in a Neurobiological Conceptualization of Children's Functioning at School

Entry." American Psychologist. 57 (2): 111-27.

Blair, C. And A. Diamond. (2008). "Biological processes in prevention and intervention:

The promotion of self-regulation as a means of preventing school failure." Development and Psychopathology. 20 (3): 899-911.

Buckner, J., Mezzacappa, E., and W. Beardslee. (2003). "Characteristics of resilient

Youths living in poverty: The role of self-regulatory processes." Development

And Psychology. 15 (1): 139-62.

____. (2009). "Self-Regulation and Its Relations to Adaptive Functioning in Low

Income Youths." American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 79 (1): 19-30.

Evans, G. And J. Rosenbaum. (2008). "Self-Regulation and the Income-Achievement

Gap." Early Childhood Research Quarterly. 23 (4): 504-14.

Friedman, N., et.al. (2007). "Greater Attention Problems During Childhood Predict


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