SYSTEMATIC REVIEW


Conceptualization, Tasks and Neurobiological Correlates of Self-Regulation in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review of the Literature (2015-2020)



Josefina Larraín-Valenzuela1, 2, *, Francisca Mardones3, Elisa Ansoleaga4, Leonie Kausel2
1 Psychology Doctoral Program, Faculty of Psychology, Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago, Chile
2 Center for Research in Social Complexity, Faculty of Government, Universidad del Desarrollo, Santiago, Chile
3 Psychology student, Faculty of Psychology, Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago, Chile
4 Faculty of Psychology, Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago, Chile


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Creative Commons License
© 2022 Larraín-Valenzuela et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the, Doctoral Program, Faculty of Psychology, Universidad Diego Portales; Center for Research in Social Complexity, Faculty of Government, Universidad del Desarrollo, Santiago, Chile; Tel: +56999694736; E-mail: josefinalarrain@udd.cl


Abstract

Background:

Self-regulation is a complex capacity that favors the modification of behavior in accordance with environmental demands.

Objective:

This article aims to review the scientific literature that conceptualizes self-regulation, analyze its potential latent dimensions, identify the instruments used to measure this construct and the empirical findings associated with its neurobiological correlates.

Methods:

A systematic review of the scientific literature published between 2015 and 2020. We include 29 empirical studies on children and adolescents self-regulatory capacity after combining the words self-regulation with cognition, brain and neurosciences.

Results:

Most of the articles included are from North America. A PICOS analysis was performed to increase understanding of self-regulatory capacity. Two dimensions of self-regulation are identified, contributing to a more global conceptualization of the concept of self-regulation; A cognitive dimension associated with executive functions, effortful control and inhibitory control, among others, and a dimension associated with personality, including traits such as irritability, impulsivity, openness and hyperactivity. Next, the instruments used to measure self-regulation are described, followed by a report of the important neurobiological findings, specifically, activation of the anterior cingulate cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal and ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

Conclusion:

Self-regulatory capacity is associated with a complex functioning that favors adaptive behavior and has neurobiological correlates.

Keywords: Systematic-review, Self-regulation behavior, Dimensions cognitive, Dimensions personality, Measure, Neurobiological.