This brief summarizes key concepts of self-regulation and stress and presents findings from a literature review on the relationship between stress and self-regulation.
The comprehensive review, which included 394 studies, yielded the following key findings:
- Experiments in laboratory animals establish the biologically toxic effects of stress on indicators of self-regulation.
- Strong associations between stress and self-regulation exist across a range of human development studies using a variety of self-report and observational methods.
- There is a well-established link between parenting and development of self-regulation in childhood.
- A variety of individual and environmental characteristics in addition to parenting may influence stress responsivity.
- It is likely that parenting and family factors, the environment, and individual biological characteristics interact in complex ways to influence how stress impacts self-regulation.
The highlights in this brief come from the Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress: A Review of Ecological, Biological, and Developmental Studies of Self-Regulation and Stress report.