“Self-Control” Concerns For Men And Women

Johanna Shapiro, PhD

This study develops and refines aspects of the construct of self-control according to a four-quadrant model: Assertive-positive, assertive-negative, yielding-positive, and yielding-negative. Twenty-six men and 78 women evaluated areas of their life in terms of the perceived degree to which they utilized these various dimensions of control. Results indicated that, depending on the specific area of clinical concern (e.g., interpersonal relationships, professional pursuits, emotional expression, health), there were significant differences in the kinds of self-control strategies that Ss tended to employ. From a clinical perspective, while Ss in this sample exercised a high degree of assertive-positive control in their professional lives, in the interpersonal and affective spheres they perceived themselves to be more out of control and exercising more negative-assertive control.

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