This brief reviews and synthesizes research in order to present the challenges — and potential solutions — surrounding scientific communication about self-regulation during adolescence, with a particular focus on the role of interventions in strengthening self-regulation capacities.
The challenges associated with communicating about these topics are substantial, and the report concludes with recommendations for communicators, such as:
- Use values at the top of their communications to orient people to why these issues matter.
- Explain why self-regulation is important & how it develops, using tools like the explanatory metaphor of Brain Architecture.
- Emphasize the role of environment & context when talking about the factors that predict the acquisition & enactment of self-regulation.
- Provide causal explanations that show how early adversity can disrupt the development of self-regulation.
- Cast interventions & programs as narratives that focus on contexts, systems, & populations.
- Avoid “myth/fact” constructions, as they will only serve to reinforce existing misunderstandings through repetition of the misunderstanding.
- Avoid reinforcing negative perceptions of adolescents.