Self-regulation (SR) is the ability to voluntarily control one's thinking and behavior and is a core construct in research on learning and behavior. SR plays a significant role in mastering and generalizing new skills, including skills such as those taught in voice therapy. The ability to self-regulate thoughts and behaviors varies widely across adults, changes in response to factors such as the cognitive load of the task, and predicts the likelihood of pursuing goals and maintaining behavior change over time. We propose that self-regulatory capacity should be considered both in determining candidacy for voice therapy and also in treatment planning. Thus, the goals of this article are to (1) introduce concepts and models of SR; (2) apply these concepts to voice therapy from a motor learning framework; (3) discuss considerations regarding the effects of SR failure on short- and long-term outcomes; and (4) suggest strategies to improve SR and better facilitate vocal behavior change.
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