case study

Practice Self-Regulation (e-PS-R)


We co-created a mobile health (mHealth) intervention to help adolescents manage their emotions and prevent unplanned pregnancies and STIs


Client: The Policy and Research Group (funded by HHS Administration for Children and Families)

The Issue

Self-regulation is a person’s ability to exercise control over their attention, thinking, emotional and physiological reactions, impulses, behaviors, and social interactions.

Research has shown that capacity to self-regulate is associated with many health and education outcomes among adolescents.

The Outcomes

We collaborated with Resources for Resolving Violence, Inc. to adapt their Practice Self-Regulation (PS-R) program into a blended online and in-person intervention.

e-PS-R is designed for youth aged 14-19 in juvenile justice and foster care, who are at higher risk for trauma and unplanned pregnancy.

e-PS-R is being evaluated in a five-year randomized controlled trial in New Mexico and West Virginia.


Adapting a Trauma-Informed Teen Pregnancy Intervention to E-learning for Under-Resourced Settings
Schladale J, Plant A. Presented at: 2018 Association of Children’s Residential Centers; March 26-29, 2018; Boston, MA.

Creating a Blended-Learning Self-Regulation Program

Practice Self-Regulation (PS-R) is an empirically based, trauma-informed sexual health intervention designed for youth affected by adverse childhood experiences. PS-R was developed by Joann Schladale, MS, LMFT, founder of Resources for Resolving Violence, a national expert in trauma-informed approaches for adolescent health. PS-R is based on affect regulation—the ability to manage emotions without causing harm to self or others. The program addresses many underlying issues that put youth who have experienced trauma at increased risk for unplanned pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and sexual harm.

Working closely with Joann Schladale, we adapted PS-R into a blended learning (online and in-person) program that requires fewer resources to implement. This adaption, called e-PS-R, targets youth aged 14-19 in juvenile justice and foster care, two settings with adolescents who have often experienced significant trauma.

e-PS-R helps youth impacted by adverse childhood experiences build skills to manage their emotions and make healthy decisions.

The e-PS-R program was developed in 2016, using an iterative process involving Sentient Research, Joann Schladale, program facilitators, reproductive health experts, an e-learning company, and ongoing input from the target audience. Three focus groups of youth on probation or in juvenile detention reviewed program content and offered detailed reactions and suggestions. A review panel of target audience youth subsequently provided feedback on multiple program elements, and participated in user-testing of the online aspects of the program.

The e-PS-R program can be used on any device; however, it was designed as an mHealth intervention to be used on a tablet or smartphone. It has the potential to be highly replicable and sustainable due to low cost and reduced staff time for training and program implementation. The program is being evaluated in a randomized controlled trial including over 700 youth that will conclude in 2021.

For more information, watch the Practice Self-Regulation Overview video and testimonials from PS-R facilitators and participants,