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Dev Psychol. 2013 May;49(5):964-72. doi: 10.1037/a0029231. Epub 2012 Jul 23.

Developmental regulation across the life span: toward a new synthesis.

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Institute of Personality and Social Research, University of California, Berkeley, 4143 Tolman Hall 5050, Berkeley, CA 94720-5050, USA.


How can individuals regulate their own development to live happy, healthy, and productive lives? Major theories of developmental regulation across the life span have been proposed (e.g., dual-process model of assimilation and accommodation; motivational theory of life-span development; model of selection, optimization, and compensation), but they have rarely been integrated. We provide an integration of key processes and predictions postulated by the 3 theories. Moreover, we present evidence from 2 age-heterogeneous, cross-sectional studies showing that the different processes of developmental regulation proposed by the different theories center around 3 key processes (i.e., goal engagement, goal disengagement, and metaregulation), which are positively associated with age and well-being. We conclude by proposing an agenda for future research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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