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Self-regulation snap shot #5: A focus on high-school aged youth

Date Added to Library: 
Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 10:30
Individual Author: 
Murray, D.W.
Rosanbalm, K.
Reference Type: 
Published Date: 
Published Date (Date): 
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
OPRE Report
Issue Number: 


Adult caregivers such as parents, teachers, coaches, and other mentors play a critical role in shaping and supporting self-regulation development from birth through young adulthood through an interactive process called “co-regulation.”


This is one of six snapshots focused on different age groups based on a series of reports on Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress prepared for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). This snapshot summarized key concepts about self-regulation development and intervention for high-school aged youth. It is designed to be a helpful resource for practitioners and educators interested in promoting self-regulation for this high-school age group. Visit the Toxic Stress and Self-Regulation Reports page for more information.


Self-regulation skills developing in high-school aged youth: 

  • Goal setting and commitment
  • Maintaining orientation toward the future
  • Planning and organizing time and tasks to achieve goals
  • Effective decision-making in the context of strong emotion and peer influence
  • Complex problem-solving considering consequences and others perspectives
  • Recognizing and accepting emotions
  • Tolerating distress
  • Using healthy coping strategies to manage stress
  • Using empathy and concern for others to guide goals and decisions

Key considerations for promoting self-regulation in high-school aged youth:

  • Encourage a positive school climate for all students
  • Provide self-regulation skills training focused on emotion regulation in the context of relationships through existing youth development or mentoring programs
  • Train teachers and youth program staff including mentors to teach, model, reinforce, and coach self-regulation skills
  • Develop parent and teacher education supports that address co-regulation
  • Identify ways to support the self-regulation capacity of parents, school staff, and youth program staff including mentors (Author introduction)
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