June P. Tangney and Angie Luzio Boone, Department of Psychology George Mason University; Roy F. Baumeister, Department of Psychology, Case Western Reserve University.
High Self-Control Predicts Good Adjustment, Less Pathology, Better Grades, and Interpersonal Success
Article first published online: 9 OCT 2008
Journal of Personality
Volume 72, Issue 2, pages 271–324, April 2004
How to Cite
Tangney, J. P., Baumeister, R. F. and Boone, A. L. (2004), High Self-Control Predicts Good Adjustment, Less Pathology, Better Grades, and Interpersonal Success. Journal of Personality, 72: 271–324. doi: 10.1111/j.0022-3506.2004.00263.x
This research was supported by a research grant from the John Templeton Foundation and by research grant #MH-57039 from the National Institutes of Health. We thank Ronda Dearing for assistance with data analysis.
- Issue published online: 9 OCT 2008
- Article first published online: 9 OCT 2008
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.