1st Edition

Routledge International Handbook of Self-Control in Health and Well-Being

    The ability to prioritise long-term goals above short-term gratifications is crucial to living a healthy and happy life. We are bombarded with temptations, whether from fast-food or faster technologies, but the psychological capacity to manage our lives within such a challenging environment has far-reaching implications for the well-being not only of the individual, but also society as a whole.

    The Routledge International Handbook of Self-Control in Health and Wellbeing is the first comprehensive handbook to map this burgeoning area of research by applying it to health outcomes and personal well-being. Including contributions from leading scholars worldwide, the book incorporates new research findings that suggest that simply inhibiting our immediate impulses isn’t the whole story; there may be more options to improve self-control than simply by suppressing the ego.

    Divided into six coherent sections, the book provides an overview of the research base before discussing a range of interventions to help improve self-control in different contexts, from smoking or drinking too much to developing self-control over aggression or spending money. The only definitive handbook on this far-reaching topic, this essential work will appeal to researchers and students across health and social psychology, as well as related health sciences.

    1. Introduction

    Part I. Conceptualizing Self-Control

    2. Attentional and motivational mechanisms of self-control

    Marina Milyavskaya & Michael Inzlicht

    3. Proactive and reactive self-control

    Asael Sklar, So Yon Rim, & Kentaro Fujita

    4. Positioning self-control in a dual-systems framework

    Marleen Gillebaart & Denise de Ridder

    5. The use of reward cue reactivity in predicting real-world self-control failure

    Dylan D. Wagner

    Part II. Assessing Self-Control

    6. Ego-depletion, self-control tasks, and the sequential task paradigm in health behavior

    Martin S. Hagger & Nikos L. D. Chatzisarantis

    7. Measurement of self-control by self-report: Considerations and recommendations

    Rick H. Hoyle & Erin K. Davisson

    8. The health consequences of intertemporal preferences

    Oleg Urminsky & Gal Zauberman

    9. Assessing self-control: The use and usefulness of the experience-sampling method

    Simone Dohle & Wilhelm Hofmann

    10. The neuroscience of self-control

    Elliot T. Berkman

    Part III. Antecedents and Consequences of Self-Control

    11. What limits self-control? A motivated effort-allocation account

    Daniel C. Molden, Chin Ming Hui, & Abigail A. Scholer

    12. Implicit theories about willpower and their implications for health and well-being

    Katharina Bernecker & Veronika Job

    13. Working memory capacity and self-control

    Wilhelm Hofmann

    14. Combatting temptation to promote health and well-being

    Ayelet Fishbach & Kaitlin Woolley

    15. Broadening mental horizons to resist temptation: Construal level and self-control

    David Kalkstein, Kentaro Fujita, & Yaacov Trope

    16. The sense of agency in health and well-being: Understanding the role of the minimal self in action control

    Robert A. Renes & Henk Aarts

    17. Justification as antecedent and consequence of self-control failure

    Marieke A. Adriaanse & Sosja Prinsen

    18. Hyperopia: A theory of reverse self-control

    Ran Kivetz, Rachel Meng, & Daniel He

    Part IV. Self-Control Applications to Health

    19. The self-control of eating behavior

    Traci Mann & Mary E. Panos

    20. Self-control and alcohol consumption

    Jeffrey M. Osgood & Mark Muraven

    21. Desire, higher-order sexual health goals and self-control in sexual behavior and sexual risk

    John B. F. de Wit, Chantal den Daas, & Philippe C.G. Adam

    22. Self-control and physical activity: Disentangling the pathways to health

    Emely de Vet & Kirsten T. Verkooijen

    23. The role of self-control in sleep behavior

    Sanne Nauts & Floor M. Kroese

    24. Self-control in smoking cessation

    Arie Dijkstra

    Part V. Self-Control Applications to Wellbeing

    25. Emotion regulation and self-control: Implications for health and wellbeing

    Catharine Evers

    26. Self-regulation and aggression: Aggression-provoking cues, individual differences, and self-control strategies

    Jaap Denissen, Sander Thomaes, & Brad J. Bushman

    27. Examining the role of self-regulatory strength in family violence

    Catrin Finkenauer, Asuman Buyukcan-Tetik, Kim Schoemaker, Yayouk E. Willems, Meike Bartels, & Roy F. Baumeister

    28. The effects of managing discrimination experiences on self-control, health, and well-being

    Dorainne J. Levy & Jennifer A. Richeson

    29. Self-distancing: Basic mechanisms and clinical implications

    Özlem Ayduk & Ethan Kross

    30. Self-control in consumer spending decisions

    Kelly L. Haws

    31. How self-control promotes health through relationships

    Michelle R. vanDellen, LeeAnn B. Beam, & Gráinne M. Fitzsimons

    Part VI. Improving Self-Control in Health and Wellbeing

    32. A Meta-analysis of improving self-control with practice

    Joanne R. Beames, Timothy P. Schofield, & Thomas F. Denson

    33. Health behavior change by self-regulation of goal pursuit: Mental contrasting and implementation intentions

    Gabriele Oettingen & Peter M. Gollwitzer

    34. Mindfulness as an intervention to improve self-control

    Malte Friese, Brian Ostafin, & David D. Loschelder

    35. How to foster health and well-being when self-control is low

    Bob M. Fennis

    36. Training cognitive-motivational processes underlying self-control in addiction

    Reinout W. Wiers & Helle Larsen

    37. The nudging approach to health and wellbeing

    David R. Marchiori & Marijn Stok

    38. Exploiting exposure to temptation to support self-control

    Siegfried Dewitte

    39. Self-affirmation and self-control: Counteracting defensive processing of health information and facilitating health behavior change

    Guido M. van Koningsbruggen, Eleanor Miles, & Peter R. Harris


    Denise de Ridder received her Ph.D. in psychology from Utrecht University in 1991. Her research interests focus on self-regulation processes in health and consumer behavior, in particular how people deal with immediate temptations that may threaten their long-term goals.

    Marieke Adriaanse received her Ph.D. in psychology from Utrecht University in 2010. Her research is concerned with the interplay between conscious and nonconscious processes on health behavior. For example, she investigates how people react when they are confronted with nonconsciously activated behavior, as well as the potential of overruling such automatic behaviors (habits) through the use of self-regulation strategies.

    Kentaro Fujita received his A.B. summa cum laude in psychology from Harvard College in 2000, and his Ph.D. in psychology from New York University in 2006. His research interests focus on why despite possessing remarkable intelligence and reasoning capacity people often make decisions and behave in ways that undermine their valued goals and objectives.