TitleIntentional Self-Regulation and Executive Functions: Overlap and Uniqueness in Predicting Positive Development Among Youth in Iceland
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsGestsdóttir, S, Geldhof, GJ, Birgisdottir, F, Andrésdóttir, JC
JournalThe Journal of Early Adolescence
Date Published07/2022

This study examined relations between intentional self-regulation (ISR) and executive functions (EFs) among 84 Icelandic youth in Grade 6 (mean age 11.7 years; 51% girls) and their contributions to healthy and problematic outcomes a year later. ISR was indicated by the Selection, Optimization and Compensation model (SOC) and Self-Regulated Learning (SRL). EF was indicated by attention shifting, inhibition, and working memory (WM). Only WM was related to ISR. Furthermore, ISR tended to uniquely predict Grade 6 outcomes, but the inverse was less true. In Grade 7, EF but not ISR uniquely predicted national test scores, and symptoms of depression and anxiety, whereas ISR remained a stronger predictor of Positive Youth Development (PYD) and risk behavior. These findings suggest a limited relation between ISR and EF, and that ISR is important to the general well-being of youth, whereas EFs may play a role in the development of problems and academic achievement.

Short TitleThe Journal of Early Adolescence