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

part II|68 pages

Assessing self-control

chapter 7|14 pages

Measurement of self-control by self-report

Considerations and recommendations

chapter 9|12 pages

Assessing self-control

The use and usefulness of the Experience Sampling Method

part III|109 pages

Antecedents and consequences of self-control

chapter 11|14 pages

What limits self-control?

A motivated effort-allocation account

chapter 15|13 pages

Broadening mental horizons to resist temptation

Construal level and self-control

chapter 16|13 pages

The sense of agency in health and well-being

Understanding the role of the minimal self in action-control

chapter 18|17 pages


A theory of reverse self-control

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

chapter 26|10 pages

Self-regulation and aggression

Aggression-provoking cues, individual differences, and self-control strategies

chapter 29|13 pages


Basic mechanisms and clinical implications

part VI|105 pages

Improving self-control in health and well-being

chapter 33|13 pages

Health behavior change by self-regulation of goal pursuit

Mental contrasting with implementation intentions

chapter 39|13 pages

Self-affirmation and self-control

Counteracting defensive processing of health information and facilitating health-behavior change