Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress Series

In 2013, OPRE commissioned four interrelated reports focused on self-regulation and toxic stress from a team at the Center for Child and Social Policy at Duke University. Since then, that team and other experts have created multiple practice-oriented resources grounded in the initial reports.  Together, these reports and resources comprise the ’Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress Series.’  The goal of this series is to communicate the potential of a self-regulation framework for strengthening prevention programs and human services. 

The first report, Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress Report 1:  Foundations for Understanding Self-Regulation from an Applied Developmental Perspective provides a comprehensive framework for understanding self-regulation in context, using a theoretical model that reflects the influence of biology, caregiving, and the environment on the development of self-regulation. The second report, Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress Report 2: Review of Ecological, Biological, and Developmental Studies of Self-Regulation and Stress provides a cross-disciplinary review of research on the relationship between stress and self-regulation. The third report, Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress Report 3:  A Comprehensive Review of Self-Regulation Interventions from Birth through Young Adulthood describes the strength of evidence for interventions to promote self-regulation for universal and targeted populations across development. The fourth report, Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress Report 4:  Implications for Programs and Practice, considers implications of findings from Reports 1-3 for programs supported by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). 

The resources based on these reports include the following:

Practice briefs that synthesize information regarding particular age groups:

Briefs focused on a particular topic:

Snap shots that summarize key concepts about self-regulation development and intervention across six age groups for practitioners and educators:

Practitioner tip sheets that describe how childcare professionals and teachers can support the development of self-regulation in young children: 

Summaries that highlight gaps and future directions for research and practice:

Point(s) of contact: Aleta Meyer.

Related Resources

Adults who interact with the child welfare system can play a critical role in shaping and supporting the development of self-regulation in youth and young adults through an interactive process called “co-regulation.” On March 28th, 2019 the Children’s Bureau and the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families brought experts together from around the country to discuss self-regulation and how the child welfare system...