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01-07-2010 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 7/2010

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 7/2010

Intentional Self Regulation in Middle Adolescence: The Emerging Role of Loss-based Selection in Positive Youth Development

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 7/2010
Auteurs:
Steinunn Gestsdottir, Edmond Bowers, Alexander von Eye, Christopher M. Napolitano, Richard M. Lerner

Abstract

Intentional self regulation describes how people make choices, plan actions to reach their goals, and regulate the execution of their actions, making processes of intentional self regulation central to healthy human functioning. Prior research has confirmed the presence of three processes of intentional self regulation—elective selection (ES), optimization (O), and compensation (C)—in middle adolescence (Grades 8 through 10) and concurrent and predictive relationships with measures of Positive Youth Development (PYD). A fourth process, loss-based selection (LBS), should also develop by the end of middle adolescence. The present study used data from the 4-H Study of PYD to confirm the presence of a four-scale structure of intentional self regulation (ES, O, C, and LBS) in a sample of 2,357 racially diverse Grade 10 youth (63% female) and examine its covariation with indicators of positive and problematic development. Results supported the identification of a four-part structure of intentional self regulation, and scores covaried positively with indicators of PYD and negatively with substance use, delinquency, and depressive symptoms. Implications of the findings for the understanding of self-regulatory actions in adolescence and for future research are discussed.

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