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Self-Regulation

Self-regulation refers to an individual’s control or modulation of behaviors, emotions, and/or cognitions. Although self-regulation develops rapidly in the first years of life, humans continue to experience changes in self-regulation through older adulthood. Similarly, individual differences in self-regulation may have lasting implications for social and emotional outcomes. This entry first describes the meaning of self-regulation in the behavioral, emotional, and cognitive domains. Next, individual differences in self-regulation and self-regulatory outcomes are discussed. The entry concludes with an examination of the development and meaning of self-regulation through the life span.

Self-regulation is supported by many skills and abilities that allow one to flexibly increase, decrease, or change responses as needed. Typically, the definition of self-regulation includes the ability to inhibit a prepotent response (the most salient or ...

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