Religion, Self-Regulation, and Self-Control: Associations, Explanations, and Implications

Michael McCullough, Brian L B Willoughby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

489 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many of the links of religiousness with health, well-being, and social behavior may be due to religion's influences on self-control or self-regulation. Using Carver and Scheier's (1998) theory of self-regulation as a framework for organizing the empirical research, the authors review evidence relevant to 6 propositions: (a) that religion can promote self-control; (b) that religion influences how goals are selected, pursued, and organized; (c) that religion facilitates self-monitoring; (d) that religion fosters the development of self-regulatory strength; (e) that religion prescribes and fosters proficiency in a suite of self-regulatory behaviors; and (f) that some of religion's influences on health, well-being, and social behavior may result from religion's influences on self-control and self-regulation. The authors conclude with suggestions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-93
Number of pages25
JournalPsychological Bulletin
Volume135
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

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Religion
Social Behavior
Empirical Research
Self-Control
Self-control
Self-regulation
Health

Keywords

  • motivation
  • personality
  • religion
  • self-control
  • self-regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

Cite this

Religion, Self-Regulation, and Self-Control : Associations, Explanations, and Implications. / McCullough, Michael; Willoughby, Brian L B.

In: Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 135, No. 1, 01.01.2009, p. 69-93.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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