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1.  Good Self-Control as a Buffering Agent for Adolescent Substance Use 
We tested the prediction that self-control will have buffering effects for adolescent substance use (tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana) with regard to three risk factors: family life events, adolescent life events, and peer substance use. Participants were a sample of public school students (N = 1,767) who were surveyed at four yearly intervals between 6th grade and 9th grade. Good self-control was assessed with multiple indicators including planning and problem solving. Results showed that the impact of all three risk factors on substance use was reduced among persons with higher scores on good self-control. Buffering was found in cross-sectional analyses with multiple regression and in longitudinal analyses in a latent growth model with time-varying covariates. Implications for addressing self-control in prevention programs are discussed.
PMCID: PMC2674381  PMID: 19071971
self-control; substance use; adolescents; buffering effect; growth modeling
2.  Self-Control Constructs Related to Measures of Dietary Intake and Physical Activity in Adolescents 
To test self-regulation concepts in relation to dietary intake and physical activity patterns in adolescence, which we predicted to be influenced by components of a self-control model.
A survey was conducted with a multiethnic sample of 9th grade public school students in a metropolitan area (N = 539). Confirmatory analysis tested the measurement structure of self-control. Structural equation modeling tested the association of self-control constructs with measures of fruit and vegetable intake, saturated-fat intake, physical activity, and sedentary behavior.
Confirmatory analysis of 14 indicators of self-control showed best fit for a two-factor structure, with latent constructs of good self-control (planfulness) and poor self-control (impulsiveness). Good self-control was related to more fruit and vegetable intake, more participation in sports, and less sedentary behavior. Poor self-control was related to more saturated-fat intake and less vigorous exercise. These effects were independent of gender, ethnicity, and parental education, which themselves had relations to diet and exercise measures. Multiple-group modeling indicated that effects of self-control were comparable across gender and ethnicity subgroups.
Self-control concepts are relevant for patterns of dietary intake and physical activity among adolescents. Attention to self-control processes may be warranted for prevention programs to improve health behaviors in childhood and adolescence.
PMCID: PMC2190087  PMID: 18023783
self-control; diet; exercise; adolescents; gender; ethnicity

Results 1-2 (2)