Document Type

Student Research Paper


Spring 2016

Academic Department

Occupational Therapy


Self-regulation is an important factor influencing school performance among elementary school students. Poor self-regulation may be the result of difficulties with sensory processing, executive functioning, and/or emotional regulation. Leah Kuypers, an occupational therapist and educator, developed The Zones of Regulation®: A Curriculum Designed to Foster Self-Regulation and Emotional Control (Zones) (Kuypers, 2011), which aims to improve students’ self-regulation in school. The current study examined student and teacher perceptions of self-regulation skills during participation in a pilot Zones program at an urban elementary school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The students’ and teachers’ perceptions of behavioral and emotional regulation skills were assessed at the beginning of the program and again after several months, using a standardized assessment tool. The teachers also completed a survey about their opinions on the use of the Zones. The aim of this study was to identify if the students and teachers perceived a positive change in self-regulation after participation in the Zones. The results suggest that the teachers perceived a positive change in self-regulation in their students, while the students did not perceive a positive change in their own skills. The teachers also shared their concerns and considerations about how the Zones could be implemented more effectively. Further research on the use of the Zones is needed using a more reliable assessment tool.


Senior Thesis.