Self-control as predictor of school grades, life balance, and flow in adolescents
Article first published online: 28 JUL 2011
©2011 The British Psychological Society
British Journal of Educational Psychology
Volume 82, Issue 4, pages 533–548, December 2012
How to Cite
Kuhnle, C., Hofer, M. and Kilian, B. (2012), Self-control as predictor of school grades, life balance, and flow in adolescents. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 82: 533–548. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8279.2011.02042.x
- Issue published online: 2 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 28 JUL 2011
- Received 4 October 2010; revised version received 28 May 2011
Background. Recently, several studies have shown that strength of self-control is a crucial factor in determining positive outcomes in individuals’ lives. Most attention has been directed to the relationships that self-control has with learning and academic achievement.
Aims. This article analyses the effects of self-control not only on school grades but also on the experience of life balance and flow. It is theorized that students with a higher level of self-control are better able to distribute their time in a satisfying way over academic and leisure matters, and are better able to shield their studying against distractions.
Samples. A total of 697 eighth graders with a mean age of 13.4 years participated in the longitudinal study.
Method. Students completed a questionnaire containing measures of self-control, school grades, subjective life balance, and flow while studying at the beginning and at the end of the school year. Structural equation modelling was used to analyse the relationships between the constructs.
Results and conclusions. Results of cross-lagged analyses show that self-control predicted school grades, life balance, and flow. The findings suggest that self-control may assist adolescents to be better prepared, not only for school, but also for coordinating their investments in different areas of their lives.