Separate lines of epidemiological research suggest that individuals with high trait self-regulation (e.g. conscientious individuals) and individuals with higher cognitive ability (e.g. executive control/intelligence) each tend to enjoy superior health and well-being outcomes. However, it remains largely unexplored whether these personological and cognitive contributions to physical health are shared, independent, or interdependent. In the current study, we examined associations between trait self-regulation, cognitive control, self-reported physical health, and subjective well-being. A domain-general model revealed little shared variance between trait self-regulation and cognitive control but revealed significant unique relationships between each predictor and physical health. Results of a latent moderation analysis suggested that cognitive control moderated the contribution of self-regulation to health but not subjective well-being. This moderation effect was characterized by a strengthened relationship between trait self-regulation and health with decreases in cognitive control. Together, our results suggest that self-regulation and cognitive control may independently contribute to health outcomes in young adults and that self-regulation may be increasingly important for individuals lower in cognitive control.
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