Promoting Self-Regulation in Young Children: The Role of Parenting Interventions

  • Alina MorawskaEmail author
  • Cassandra K. Dittman
  • Julie C. Rusby


Self-regulation is a foundational skill in childhood and underpins various positive and negative outcomes throughout childhood, adolescence and into adulthood. Parents and the way they parent their children play a key role in the development of young children’s self-regulatory capacity. However, there is limited evidence for the effectiveness of parenting interventions on child self-regulatory outcomes. This paper provides an overview of the role of parenting in the development of child self-regulation and a summary of the evidence base for parenting interventions to promote self-regulation in children under age eight, focusing on infancy, the toddler/preschooler period, and early school-age. We conclude by examining the gaps in this field of research and providing directions for future research.


Parenting Self-regulation Infancy Toddler Preschool School-age child Intervention 



This review, in part, was supported by grant # R01 DA021307 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The Parenting and Family Support Centre is partly funded by royalties stemming from published resources of the Triple P—Positive Parenting Program, which is developed and owned by The University of Queensland (UQ). Royalties are also distributed to the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences at UQ and contributory authors of published Triple P resources. Triple P International (TPI) Pty Ltd is a private company licensed by UQ, to publish and disseminate Triple P worldwide. The authors of this report have no share or ownership of TPI. Dr Morawska receives royalties from TPI. TPI had no involvement in the study design, collection, analysis or interpretation of data, or writing of this report. Drs Morawska, and Dittman are employees at UQ.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alina Morawska
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cassandra K. Dittman
    • 1
  • Julie C. Rusby
    • 2
  1. 1.Parenting and Family Support Centre, School of PsychologyThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Oregon Research InstituteOregonUS

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