Preschoolers' endogenously triggered self-regulation
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Self-regulation is one of the most important developments of early childhood. The ability to voluntarily control emotions, actions, and cognitions in the presence of two competing demands is vital to adaptive and autonomous functioning throughout the life course. The competing demands that make up a regulatory dilemma can be generated internally, from within the individual, or externally, from environmental factors. Previous research using direct behavioral assessments of young children's self-regulation has focused solely on demands that are generated by the environment. The goal of the present study was to explore children's self-regulation when triggered by both internal and environmental factors. The majority of participants were able to demonstrate regulation in at least one domain. For almost half of the participants however, the ability to demonstrate regulation depended on whether the demands of the regulatory episode were generated internally or externally.