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Self-regulation is developed early in life through family and parenting interactions. There has been considerable debate on how to best conceptualize and enhance self-regulation. Many consider self-regulation as the socio-emotional competencies required for healthy and productive living, including the flexibility to regulate emotions, control anger, maintain calm under pressure, and respond adaptively to a variety of situations. Its enhancement is the focus of many child and family interventions. An important limitation of the self-regulation field is that most empirical and conceptual research comes from high-income countries (HICs). Less is known about the manifestation, measurement and role of self-regulation in many collectivistic, rural, or less-developed contexts such as low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This position paper aims to present an initial review of the existing literature on self-regulation in LMICs, with a focus on parenting, and to describe challenges in terms of measurement and implementation of self-regulation components into existing interventions for parents, children and adolescents in these settings. We conclude by establishing steps or recommendations for conducting basic research to understand how self-regulation expresses itself in vulnerable and low-resource settings and for incorporating components of self-regulation into services in LMICs.
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- Self-Regulation in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Challenges and Future Directions
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