Researchers, policymakers, and practitioners are increasingly interested in the role that self-regulation may play in the ability of people to obtain and maintain employment. This interest is motivated by findings from three broad strands of research. First, research suggests self-regulation is necessary for goal setting and goal pursuit, which in turn foster positive outcomes across a variety of contexts (Deci and Ryan 2000). Second, there is growing evidence that the conditions associated with poverty can hinder the development and/or use of self-regulation skills (Mullainathan and Shafir 2013). Third, there is suggestive evidence that self-regulation skills continue to develop and improve in adulthood (Blair and Raver 2015). The report defines self-regulation and the specific self-regulation skills that may be most relevant for attaining employment-related goals. It describes how the development and use of self-regulation skills may be hindered by environmental factors, such as poverty as well as how these skills may be strengthened through interventions and strategies that have been successful in other contexts. In addition, the report provides examples of employment programs that have incorporated interventions focused on self-regulation and goal attainment and discusses the importance and challenges of measuring the success of such interventions. (Author introduction)
Self-regulation and goal attainment: A new perspective for employment programs
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