Facilitating Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Regulation in Children: Opportunities and Challenges for Parents

July 30, 2015 (Noon–1 p.m.)


Child Development and Behavior Branch (CDBB), Division of Extramural Research (DER), NICHD


6100 Executive Boulevard, 4B01 Conference Room, Bethesda, Maryland


Wendy Grolnick, Ph.D. External Web Site Policy, from Clark University, is currently an American Psychological Association 2015 Executive Branch Science Fellow at the NICHD. She will discuss ways that parents can help build their children's innate sense of motivation and self regulation.

Parents have the challenging role of socializing children to engage in desired behaviors, but also in facilitating internalization of these behaviors so that they are self-regulated. Dr. Grolnick uses a Self-Determination Theory perspective to describe the processes through which originally extrinsically motivated behaviors become self-determined, and how the environment can facilitate or undermine these processes. Specifically, three contextual dimensions—autonomy support, structure, and involvement—are hypothesized to play a key role in children’s self-regulation. She will describe a series of studies that examined how parenting along these dimensions is associated with children’s self-regulation and adjustment. In addition, she will discuss studies on whether autonomy support is relevant to cultures that are more hierarchical and interdependent. Dr. Grolnick will also address data on factors that facilitate or undermine motivationally facilitative parenting, including pressures from above, below (the child), and within the parents, and will present preliminary data on the Parent Check-In, a new brief intervention to increase facilitative parenting.

This presentation is part of the Advances in Child Development and Behavior Research Speaker Series, supported by the CDBB.

This event is open to the public, but seating is limited; please RSVP to Laureen Lee no later than July 24, 2015.

If you require a sign language interpreter and/or other reasonable accommodations, please contact Laureen Lee.


Laureen Lee, CDBB, DER, NICHD
Tel: (301) 402–5261
Email: laureen.lee@nih.gov    

Please note: Views expressed during NICHD-sponsored events do not necessarily reflect the opinions or the official positions of NICHD, NIH, or HHS.
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