High Self-Control Predicts Good Adjustment, Less Pathology, Better Grades, and Interpersonal Success

J Pers. 2004 Apr;72(2):271-324. doi: 10.1111/j.0022-3506.2004.00263.x.

Abstract

What good is self-control? We incorporated a new measure of individual differences in self-control into two large investigations of a broad spectrum of behaviors. The new scale showed good internal consistency and retest reliability. Higher scores on self-control correlated with a higher grade point average, better adjustment (fewer reports of psychopathology, higher self-esteem), less binge eating and alcohol abuse, better relationships and interpersonal skills, secure attachment, and more optimal emotional responses. Tests for curvilinearity failed to indicate any drawbacks of so-called overcontrol, and the positive effects remained after controlling for social desirability. Low self-control is thus a significant risk factor for a broad range of personal and interpersonal problems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Behavior
  • Choice Behavior
  • Educational Status*
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Concept
  • Self Efficacy
  • Social Adjustment*