European Journal of Psychology of Education

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 81-100

First online:

High self-control predicts more positive emotions, better engagement, and higher achievement in school

  • Ronnel B. KingAffiliated withLearning Sciences Lab, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University Email author 
  • , Marianne Jennifer M. GaerlanAffiliated withDepartment of English and Applied Linguistics, College of Education De La Salle University

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The control-value theory of academic emotions has emerged as a useful framework for studying the antecedents and consequences of different emotions in school. This framework focuses on the role of control-related and value-related appraisals as proximal antecedents of emotions. In this study, we take an individual differences approach to examine academic emotions and investigate how trait self-control is related to students’ experience of academic emotions. We posited a model wherein trait self-control predicted academic emotions which in turn predicted engagement and perceived academic achievement. Filipino university students answered relevant questionnaires. Results indicated that self-control positively predicted positive academic emotions (enjoyment, hope, and pride) and negatively predicted negative emotions (anger, anxiety, shame, hopelessness, and boredom). Academic emotions, in turn, had a significant impact on engagement, disaffection, and perceived achievement. Implications for exploring synergies between research on trait self-control and the control-value theory of academic emotions are discussed.


Self-control Academic emotions Achievement emotions Engagement Disaffection Control-value theory Filipino students