Sex differences in self-regulation in early, middle and late adolescence: A large-scale cross-sectional study

Autoři: M. A. J. van Tetering aff001;  A. M. van der Laan aff002;  C. H. de Kogel aff002;  R. H. M. de Groot aff003;  J. Jolles aff001
Působiště autorů: Centre for Brain & Learning, Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands aff001;  Research and Documentation Centre (WODC), Ministry of Justice and Security, The Hague, The Netherlands aff002;  Institute, Research Centre for Learning, Teaching, and Technology, Open University of the Netherlands, Heerlen, The Netherlands aff003;  NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 15(1)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0227607


This large-scale cross-sectional study had the aim to investigate whether adolescent males and females differ in self-perceived self-regulation. The large sample size allowed us to investigate sex differences in three age-groups of young (n = 161), middle (n = 133) and late (n = 159) adolescents. Self-regulation was evaluated with a self-report questionnaire, the Amsterdam Executive Functioning Inventory (AEFI). This questionnaire gives a proxi for three executive functions that are important for proper self-regulation: (1) self-control & self-monitoring, (2) attention, and (3) planning & initiative taking. Results revealed clear sex differences in the self-regulation as perceived by mid-adolescents (i.e., 13–16 years). In this age period, females evaluated their attention higher than males, and they reported higher levels of self-control & self-monitoring. Our findings offer important new insights with respect to the decision making, academic achievements and behaviour of 13-16-year olds. Self-regulation is known to have a central role in academic achievement and in behavioural organisation. The sex differences in self-regulation in mid-adolescence may therefore explain part of the difference which males and females in this age-group exhibit in academic achievements and behavioural organisations. The results imply that self-regulation may be a relevant intervention target: rather than focussing on changing behaviour, interventions may focus more on self-insights and thereby changing the adolescent’s perceptions about their behaviour. Increased self-insight may have the potency to actually change behaviour, which might be an interesting target for future investigation.

Klíčová slova:

Adolescents – Age groups – Behavior – Cognition – Cognitive psychology – Culture – Neuropsychology – Schools


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