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Executive Functioning & Children's Regulation: Conceptual Issues

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Nancy Eisenberg, Ph.D., Arizona State University

Recently there has been an increasing appreciation of the role of emotion and its regulation in socioemotional functioning in both typical and atypical samples. A variety of constructs have historically been considered in relation to emotion regulation, including effortful control, reactive control, and behavioral inhibition. Effortful control involves executive attention and perhaps some other aspects of executive functioning. The presentation discussed different conceptualizations of emotion-related regulation and their hypothesized relations to adjustment. In addition, the presentation reviewed findings from our research on the unique relations of different measures of emotion-related control to children’s adjustment and resiliency. The results from our studies underscore the importance of differentiating between effortful and reactive control when predicting developmental outcomes.

Eisenberg Presentation Slides (PDF - 258 KB)

Biosketch for Nancy Eisenberg, Ph.D.

Dr. Nancy Eisenberg is Regents’ Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University. Her interests are in social, emotional, and moral development, as well as socialization influences, especially in the areas of self-regulation and adjustment. She has published numerous empirical studies, as well as books and chapters on these topics. She has been a recipient of Research Scientist Development Awards and a Research Scientist Award from the NICHD and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). She was the President of the Western Psychological Association and is president-elect of Division 7 (Developmental Psychology) of the American Psychological Association. Eisenberg has been Associate Editor of Merrill-Palmer Quarterly and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and Editor of Psychological Bulletin and a volume of the Handbook of Child Psychology. She is currently the founding editor of the new Society for Research in Child Development journal, Child Development Perspectives. She is the 2007 recipient of the Ernest R. Hilgard Award for a Career Contribution to General Psychology, Division 1, American Psychological Association; the 2008 recipient of the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award; and the 2009 recipient of the G. Stanley Hall Award Recipient Award for Distinguished Contribution to Developmental Psychology, Division 7, American Psychological Association.

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Last Reviewed: 11/30/2012
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