The relationship between self-control and language: Evidence of a shared etiological pathway

Kevin M. Beaver, Matt Delisi, Michael G. Vaughn, John Paul Wright, Brian B. Boutwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Citations (Scopus)


Converging lines of research suggest that self-control and language may be inextricably linked. No empirical research has ever examined this proposition, however. We address this gap in the literature by analyzing a sample of twin pairs from a nationally representative data set of children. The results revealed three broad findings. First, diminished language skills were predictive of low self-control both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Second, the covariation between language and self-control was linked to both genetic and environmental factors. Third, after controlling for genetic influences on self-control, language skills were predictive of variation in individual levels of self-control. The theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)939-970
Number of pages32
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Nov 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

Cite this