To Your Health
January, 2021 (Vol. 15, Issue 01)
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Self-Control Keeps You Young

By Editorial Staff

Children who exhibit self-control – necessary for successful transition to school, for example – are more likely to benefit far beyond merely being self-controlled as adults. Self-controlled children also tend to be healthier adults than children who lack self-control.

This from a large study that tracked 1,000 people from birth through age 45.

In the study, teachers, parents and children themselves assessed childhood self-control at five different age points from ages 3-11 (every two years beginning at age 3), evaluating impulsive aggression, overactivity, inattention and other indicators of poor self-control. In adulthood, specifically from ages 26-45, researchers assessed physiological signs of aging in the brain and other organ systems.

Children with self-control exhibited slower aging as adults than adults with poor self-control as children; walked faster and had younger-looking faces at age 45; had more positive views of aging; and felt more satisfied with their middle-age lives.

While the "younger" adults also came from more secure families and had a higher IQ than their "older" counterparts, these variables were accounted for in the researchers' findings. In other words, the association between self-control in childhood and better health / slower aging in adulthood was still significant even after considering these variables.

So parents and expectant parents, take note: Fostering self-control in your children may set them up for a lifetime of success and good health. For tips on how to promote self-control, click here.  And by the way, it's not too late for adults! Click here to learn how to improve your own self-control ... and become a happier, healthier person in the process.