The ability to self-regulate is key to healthy, competent functioning. The breadth of evidence supporting the importance of self-regulation is matched by such a diversity of terms, concepts, measures, and levels of analysis that the National Institutes of Health called for progress toward a unifying model. In this article, we review a lineage of conceptual models and suggest a path toward a more unifying model of self-regulation that encompasses both the dynamics of moment-to-moment changes and age-related change. Drawing from these models, we define self-regulation as the influence of the recruitment of executive processes (EP) on prepotent responses (PR). We define these terms, locating self-regulation in the dynamic relations between PR and EP, and offer a theoretical–mathematical approach to testing this model.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies