Exploring the relationship between conservation of resources and regulatory mode in self-regulation: A qualitative study of mothers caring for children with long-term care needs


  • Alex Barnes Liverpool John Moores University


Purpose: This research aims to explore the relationship between regulatory mode and conservation of resources (COR) within the context of self-regulation.  It seeks to understand how an individual's assessment or locomotion tendencies and their resource situation interact with and influence each other.

Study design/methodology/approach: A qualitative study was conducted using an interpretivist approach. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 19 mothers caring for children with long-term needs. The interviews were analysed using NVivo and Excel to identify themes and evidence related to the research questions.


Findings: For the participant group of mothers, the findings indicate a direct link between assessment and locomotion tendencies, and their resource caravan or reservoirs.  Those with locomotion tendencies were more likely to have a strong or positive resource caravan, whereas those with mixed assessment and locomotion tendencies had a limited resource caravan. Five resource groupings or caravans were identified, with positive mindfulness, positive psychology, and time emerging as predominant weak resources, and physical, cognitive, social, and financial resources as dominant positive resources. The study also found a direct link between current resource caravans and positive or negative resource passageways in most participants. The significance of time and social support in both constructs was also highlighted.


Originality/value: This research contributes to the literature by emphasising the importance of considering both regulatory mode and COR in understanding an individual's self-regulation and resource situation. These findings provide insights into the specific resources and their impact on assessment and locomotion tendencies. This study also highlights the role of time and social support in the lives of parent carers. These findings can inform practical approaches to support parents caring for children with long-term illnesses.