Self-regulatory processes are believed to be critical to early personality and behavioral adjustment. Such processes can be observed on multiple levels, including the physiological, attentional, emotional, cognitive, and interpersonal domains of functioning. Data from several longitudinal studies suggest links between early temperamental tendencies such as behavioral inhibition and frustration tolerance, and regulatory developments at the levels of physiological, attentional, and emotional regulation. Deficits in these particular levels of self-regulation may underlie childhood social withdrawal and aggression. Significant gaps remain in our knowledge of the pathways to disordered behavior and the role that self-regulation plays in such pathways. Suggestions are made for the ways in which future longitudinal studies might address these gaps.
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