Impact of college-level courses on self-control: Comparison between a self-management course and a physical exercise course

J Am Coll Health. 2023 Jan 3:1-10. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2022.2155056. Online ahead of print.


We examined the relative effectiveness of a college-level self-management (SM) course and a physical exercise (PE) course on improving self-control. In Study 1, Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11) and general regulatory behavior questionnaire were administered before and after the courses to students from an SM course (experimental group 1; n = 87), a PE course (experimental group 2; n = 22), and a liberal arts course (control group; n = 28). There was a significant decrease in impulsivity and improvement in daily self-control behaviors in the SM group only. In Study 2, the same tests were administered before, after, and 3 months after the courses to the SM (n = 47) and PE groups (n = 20). Impulsivity and daily self-control behaviors were improved only in the SM group and maintained after 3 months. Thus, self-control can be improved and stabilized by teaching and directing self-control behaviors among college students.

Keywords: college-level course; impulsivity; physical exercise; self-control; self-management.