Purpose: There has been an emerging body of research estimating the stability in levels of self-control across different sections of the life course. At the same time, some of this research has attempted to examine the factors that account for both stability and change in levels of self-control. Missing from much of this research is a concerted focus on the genetic and environmental architecture of stability and change in self-control. Methods: The current study was designed to address this issue by analyzing a sample of kinship pairs drawn from the Child and Young Adult Supplement of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (CNLSY). Results: Analyses of these data revealed that genetic factors accounted for between 74 and 92 percent of the stability in self-control and between 78 and 89 percent of the change in self-control. Shared and nonshared environmental factors explained the rest of the stability and change in levels of self-control. Conclusions: A combination of genetic and environmental influences is responsible for the stability and change in levels of self-control over time.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Applied Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science