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Adolescents' Resilience as a Self-Regulatory Process

Promising Themes for Linking Intervention with Developmental Science


Address for correspondence: Thomas J. Dishion, Child and Family Center, University of Oregon, 377 Straub Hall, Eugene, Oregon 97401. Voice: 541-346-5561; fax: 541-346-4858.


Abstract: This chapter focuses on the concept of self-regulation as a measure of resilience in children and adolescents. Developmental psychology and neuroscience are converging on the role of attention control as a central ability underlying self-regulation. We collected measures of adolescent attention control from parents and youth, and a measure of self-regulation from teachers. The measures of effortful attention correlated highly with teacher ratings of self-regulation. The composite measure of self-regulation (youth, parent, teacher report) was found to moderate the impact of peer deviance on adolescent antisocial behavior, as well as stress on adolescent depression. These findings suggest that self-regulation is a promising index of adolescent resilience. The construct of self-regulation also provides an excellent target for strategies aimed to improve child and adolescent adjustment in problematic environments and stressful circumstances.

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