Self-Control as Self-Regulation: A Return to Control Theory

Chae Mamayek, Raymond Paternoster, Thomas A. Loughran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


In an effort to build on previous theory and research it is argued that self-control is not synonymous with impulsivity, but rather should be conceptualized as self-regulation: the capacity to override impulsive desires. Using a sample of college students and a sample of serious adult criminal offenders, we test four hypotheses regarding the relationship between self-regulation, impulsivity, and several outcome measures reflecting antisocial or criminal behavior. Our findings within the college sample more strongly support the notion of self-control as self-regulation. The result differences between samples also highlight the need to consider limitations when generalizing results from more conventional student groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)895-916
Number of pages22
JournalDeviant Behavior
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 3 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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