Variety of Interventions Can Improve Childhood Self-Regulation Skills Interview with:
“Children Playing at Swyalana Lagoon” by Doug Hay is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr Anuja Pandey

Population, Policy and Practice Programme,
UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health
London UK What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Evidence from longitudinal studies suggests that self-regulation skills can be a powerful predictor of positive health, educational, financial and social outcomes. Hence, self-regulation has received interest as an intervention target and a number of interventions have been evaluated in children and adolescents.

Our study summarised the evidence from 50 rigorously evaluated self-regulation interventions in children and adolescents including 23098 participants. We found that while most interventions were successful in improving self-regulation (66%), some of them did not produce a noticeable change (34%).Curriculum based approach was most commonly used to deliver interventions, and this involved training teachers, who implemented these interventions. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: One of the important findings of our study is that a variety of self-regulation interventions result in positive effects on self-regulation skills. This means that different approaches can be effective to target self-regulation skills ranging from playgroup games, yoga and parent consultation. While most of the interventions included in our study were administered in school settings by trained teachers and trained intervention providers, we also found that self-regulation interventions can be effective in family settings targeting parenting practices and sibling relationships. The message for parents is that, they also can play an active role in development of self-regulation skills in children. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: We noted that there was lack of uniformity in the way self-regulation was measured across different studies. This heterogeneity in outcomes was one of the limitations in evidence base of self-regulation intervention evaluation. We recommend that future research should be directed to evaluate standard methods to evaluate self-regulation outcomes. 

There are no conflicts of interests to disclose. 


Pandey A, Hale D, Das S, Goddings A, Blakemore S, Viner RM. Effectiveness of Universal Self-regulation–Based Interventions in Children and AdolescentsA Systematic Review and Meta-analysisJAMA Pediatr.Published online April 16, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.0232

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Last Updated on April 20, 2018 by Marie Benz MD FAAD