Different types of interventions improve self-regulation in children and young people, which helps children to manage their behaviour and emotions. School curriculum-based interventions show the most consistently positive results. Interventions also improve longer-term academic, health and social outcomes.
Self-regulation encompasses a range of skills, including controlling your own emotions, interacting positively with others, avoiding inappropriate or aggressive actions, and carrying out self-directed learning.
This review looked at universal self-regulation interventions (those that were aimed at whole groups/cohorts of healthy children or teenagers), rather than those aimed at children with particular needs. Activities included mindfulness and yoga, family-based, exercise-based and social and personal skills-based tasks. This is a comprehensive review of rigorous evaluations including 49 trials mainly from the US providing moderate to strong evidence on effectiveness.
The current guidance recommends school curriculum-based interventions for social and emotional wellbeing. This review suggests that interventions in other settings, including exercise-based programmes and social/personal skills programmes, could also be considered. The NICE guidance is due to be updated.