Pathways to Turning Points: Exploring the Relationship between Self-Control and Thoughtfully Reflective Decision Making
Pratt, Stephanie M.
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The majority of empirical work on turning points has focused on if and how they facilitate desistance; comparatively little work has investigated the factors that facilitate or inhibit the likelihood of experiencing these turning points, however. This is disconcerting as extant literature has mostly found these life events to have a significant impact on steering individuals away from subsequent deviant behavior. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, this study investigates the relationship between self-control and thoughtfully reflective decision making (Paternoster and Pogarsky, 2009; Paternoster, Pogarsky, and Zimmerman, 2010) in the likelihood of entering into marriage and gainful activity. This research finds that self-control significantly predicts gainful activity as well as thoughtfully reflective decision making. The results, however, do not find self-control to be influential for marriage. Implications for theory and future research are also discussed.