UQAM study links self-regulation in youth to future retention

April 10, 2014

New research out of the Université du Québec à Montréal has discovered that the ability to self-regulate in youth is a powerful factor in future student retention. UQAM researcher Marie-Hélène Véronneau studied almost 1,000 youth from the age of 11 to 23-24 in order to test early levels of self-regulation against later performance and perseverance in education. Véronneau focused on attentional control, which includes 3 aspects: inhibitory control, attentional regulation, and activator control. Inhibitory control is the ability to inhibit impulses or disruptive behaviors that could detract focus from a task; attentional control is the ability to concentrate and maintain focus even if outside elements distract one; and the activator control is what drives people to begin a task, even if the work does not need to be completed immediately. The study suggests that positive family relationships play a large role in the development of these attention controls; youth who are deemed to be poor self-regulators could benefit from early-intervention programs aimed to improve self-regulation. UQAM News (in French)