chapter  12
Individual Differences in Self-Regulation: Implications for Childhood Adjustment
Pages 26

The topic of emotion regulation, and the broader construct of self-regulation, has received considerable attention in the developmental literature over the last 10 years (Calkins, 1994; Eisenberg, Murphy, Maszk, Smith, & Karbon, 1995, Eisenberg et al., 1996; Fox, 1994; Kochanska, Coy, & Murray, 2001; Posner & Rothbart, 2000; Thompson, 1990). In fact, recent approaches to the study of individual differences in personality during infancy and early childhood have conceptualized these differences in terms of variability in temperamental reactivity and self-regulation (Calkins & Johnson, 1998; Fox, Henderson, &

Marshall, in press; Gunnar, Porter, Wolf, Rigatuso, & Larson, 1995; Posner & Rothbart, 2000; Rothbart & Derryberry, 1981; Stifter & Braungart, 1995). In defining self-regulation, Rothbart and colleagues (Posner & Rothbart, 2000; Rothbart & Derryberry, 1981; Rothbart & Posner; 1985) have focused on a general definition that encompasses multiple levels of analysis of regulation. In this approach, self-regulation is defined as the child’s ability to modulate behavior according to the cognitive, emotional, and social demands of a particular situation (Posner & Rothbart, 2000).