The effectiveness of the Zones of Regulation curriculum in improving self-regulation and/or behaviour in students


  • L Romanowycz
  • Z Azar
  • H Dang
  • Y Fan


Background: Self-regulation relates to the ability to control one’s emotions and behaviour, get along with others and engage in learning. The Zones of Regulation curriculum uses a cognitive behavioural approach delivered over 18 sessions to assist students to build self-regulation skills. Initial scoping research failed to identify any comprehensive studies addressing the effectiveness of the curriculum. Review question: What is the evidence for the effectiveness of the Zones of Regulation curriculum in improving self-regulation and/or behaviour in students? Data sources:  As the peer-reviewed database search failed to produce any studies that met the inclusion criteria, articles came from a theses database search (n=4) and handsearching the reference lists of the four included studies (n=2). Appraisal and synthesis methods: Critical Appraisal Tools (CATs) were used to assess risk of bias within each thesis and scoring system was developed to provide an overall rating. Each study was analysed against the NHMRC dimensions of evidence and synthesis involved comparison of all studies across the five dimensions. Results: Four of the six theses found that The Zones improved the ability of primary school students to self-regulate. The others contained inconclusive results. Aside from one thesis, all had a moderate to high risk of bias. Limitations:  Limitations of this review include location bias, language bias and lack of standardisation of the scoring system developed for assessing the risk of bias within each thesis. Conclusions and implications of key findings: Overall there was an inconsistency in the results between the theses (though it leaned towards a positive result) and all but one did not perform well against the NHMRC dimensions of evidence. As such the current best evidence is inconclusive related to the use of the Zones of Regulation. It is recommended that this intervention is used with close monitoring and outcome measurement in practice. There is an urgent need for better quality research studies to provide research evidence for this intervention.






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