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.

chapter 1|7 pages

Self-control in health and well-being

Concepts, theories, and central issues
ByDenise de Ridder, Marieke Adriaanse, Kentaro Fujita

part I|49 pages

Conceptualizing self-control

chapter 2|13 pages

Attentional and motivational mechanisms of self-control

ByMarina Milyavskaya, Michael Inzlicht

chapter 3|11 pages

Proactive and reactive self-control

ByAsael Sklar, SoYon Rim, Kentaro Fujita

chapter 4|12 pages

Positioning self-control in a dual-systems framework

ByMarleen Gillebaart, Denise de Ridder

part II|68 pages

Assessing self-control

chapter 6|13 pages

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

ByMartin S. Hagger, Nikos L. D. Chatzisarantis

chapter 7|14 pages

Measurement of self-control by self-report

Considerations and recommendations
ByRick H. Hoyle, Erin K. Davisson

chapter 8|12 pages

The health consequences of intertemporal preferences

ByOleg Urminsky, Gal Zauberman

chapter 9|12 pages

Assessing self-control

The use and usefulness of the Experience Sampling Method
BySimone Dohle, Wilhelm Hofmann

chapter 10|15 pages

The neuroscience of self-control

ByElliot T. Berkman

part III|109 pages

Antecedents and consequences of self-control

chapter 11|14 pages

What limits self-control?

A motivated effort-allocation account
ByDaniel C. Molden, Chin Ming Hui, Abigail A. Scholer

chapter 12|13 pages

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

ByKatharina Bernecker, Veronika Job

chapter 13|11 pages

Working memory capacity and self-control

ByWilhelm Hofmann

chapter 14|13 pages

Combatting temptation to promote health and well-being

ByAyelet Fishbach, Kaitlin Woolley

chapter 15|13 pages

Broadening mental horizons to resist temptation

Construal level and self-control
ByDavid Kalkstein, Kentaro Fujita, Yaacov Trope

chapter 16|13 pages

The sense of agency in health and well-being

Understanding the role of the minimal self in action-control
ByRobert A. Renes, Henk Aarts

chapter 17|13 pages

Justification as antecedent and consequence of self-control failure

ByMarieke Adriaanse, Sosja Prinsen

chapter 18|17 pages


A theory of reverse self-control
ByRan Kivetz, Rachel Meng, Daniel He

part IV|77 pages

Self-control applications to health

chapter 19|12 pages

The self-control of eating behavior

ByTraci Mann, Mary E. Panos

chapter 20|13 pages

Self-control and alcohol consumption

ByJeffrey M. Osgood, Mark Muraven

chapter 21|12 pages

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

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

chapter 22|12 pages

Self-control and physical activity

Disentangling the pathways to health
ByEmely de Vet, Kirsten T. Verkooijen

chapter 23|12 pages

The role of self-control in sleep behavior

BySanne Nauts, Floor M. Kroese

chapter 24|14 pages

Self-control in smoking cessation

ByArie Dijkstra

part V|87 pages

Self-control applications to well-being

chapter 25|13 pages

Emotion regulation and self-control

Implications for health behaviors and wellbeing
ByCatharine Evers

chapter 26|10 pages

Self-regulation and aggression

Aggression-provoking cues, individual differences, and self-control strategies
ByJaap J. A. Denissen, Sander Thomaes, Brad J. Bushman

chapter 27|13 pages

Examining the role of self-regulatory strength in family violence

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

chapter 28|11 pages

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

ByDorainne J. Levy, Jennifer A. Richeson

chapter 29|13 pages


Basic mechanisms and clinical implications
ByAyduk Özlem, Ethan Kross

chapter 30|13 pages

Self-control in consumer spending decisions

ByKelly L. Haws

chapter 31|12 pages

How self-control promotes health through relationships

ByMichelle R. vanDellen, LeeAnn B. Beam, Gráinne M. Fitzsimons

part VI|105 pages

Improving self-control in health and well-being

chapter 32|13 pages

A meta-analysis of improving self-control with practice

ByJoanne R. Beames, Timothy P. Schofield, Thomas F. Denson

chapter 33|13 pages

Health behavior change by self-regulation of goal pursuit

Mental contrasting with implementation intentions
ByGabriele Oettingen, Peter M. Gollwitzer

chapter 34|15 pages

Mindfulness as an intervention to improve self-control

ByMalte Friese, Brian Ostafin, David D. Loschelder

chapter 35|14 pages

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

ByBob M. Fennis

chapter 36|11 pages

Training cognitive-motivational processes underlying self-control in addiction

ByReinout W. Wiers, Helle Larsen

chapter 37|12 pages

The nudging approach to health and wellbeing

ByDavid R. Marchiori, Marijn Stok

chapter 38|12 pages

Exploiting exposure to temptation to support self-control

BySiegfried Dewitte

chapter 39|13 pages

Self-affirmation and self-control

Counteracting defensive processing of health information and facilitating health-behavior change
ByGuido M. van Koningsbruggen, Eleanor Miles, Peter R. Harris