The mediating role of Social Support Seeking in the relationship between Trait Self-Control and Goal Progress
Diest, Romy van
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Exercising regularly, saving money, or eating healthier – in our daily lives, we frequently set long-term goals. To stay focused on long-term goals and to ultimately achieve them, self-control is considered as a necessary capacity. While research within the topic of self-control strategies has mainly focused on intrapersonal strategies that people use to make progress towards achieving their goals, there has been little effort to integrate interpersonal strategies into the self-control literature. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to examine whether the relationship between trait self-control and goal progress is mediated by social support seeking. It was hypothesized that there is positive relationship between trait self-control and goal progress, which is mediated by social support seeking. An online questionnaire was used to conduct the research. Participants were recruited through social media and e-mail (N = 151). In line with the hypothesis, the results showed that trait self-control is positively related to goal progress, and this relationship is partially positively mediated by social support seeking. Two additional explorative analyses revealed that social support seeking for instrumental reasons partially mediated the relationship between trait self-control and goal progress, while this mediating effect was not found for social support seeking for emotional reasons. The current study sheds a different light on the understanding of how self-control operates and offers a foundation for developing methods for improving self-control. By continuing to investigate why people who have higher levels of self-control are more successful in attaining their goals, a more detailed understanding of the processes that are involved in self-control will be acquired.