To Access Journal Article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10888691.2016.1178578
Abstract: Self-control and patience are character strengths predictive of positive developmental outcomes, but few interventions targeting their growth have been tested in adolescents. Moreover, interventions based on the limited-strength model of self-control have received considerable criticism, but few studies have tested moderation of interventions by motivational variables fundamental to computational and process models of self-control. To correct this deficiency, we tested the ability of three interventions—using one’s nondominant hand, engaging in cognitive reappraisal exercises, and tracking one’s schedule—to increase self-control and patience in 355 high school students (mean = 16.0 years; 59% female). The nondominant hand and schedule tracking conditions were found to increase self-control, patience, and well-being only when the perceived difficulty was low. Results suggest that the limited-strength model of self-control is insufficient and underscore the explanatory power of computational and process models that account for difficulty. Implications for constructing character interventions for adolescents are discussed.