Self-control comes in limited quantities, must be replenished

Self-control, whether used to pass up the office cookie plate or to struggle against temptations like alcohol and tobacco, operates like a renewable energy source rather than a learned skill or an analytical thought process, according to new research.
Individuals had less physical stamina and impulse control and increased difficulty with problem-solving activities after completing a variety of tasks that required some measure of self-control, according to Roy F. Baumeister, Ph.D., of Florida State University.

Pain, poor coping skills diminish quality of life for HIV patients

HIV patients who live in pain and use poor coping strategies to handle the stress of their illness also report that they have less energy and more limits on their physical, social and work activities, according to a new study. Patients who use self-distraction techniques or “give up trying to deal with” HIV-related stress feel less energetic, and those who use self-distraction or drugs or alcohol to cope say that their health limits their social activities, according to Mark Vosvick, Ph.D., of the University of North Texas and colleagues.

Boyfriend pressure makes black teen girls more likely to want pregnancy

Poor, black teen girls who think their boyfriends want a baby are 12 times more likely to wish they were pregnant compared with similar teens who expressed no desire to become pregnant, according to new research. Girls in the study who wanted to become pregnant were almost four times as likely to have a partner who was at least five years older than themselves. They were also twice as likely to report feelings of low self-esteem and low family support, and twice as likely to feel that their partner would disapprove of using condoms.

Smoking reduction strategies show success

People who use nicotine replacement products like skin patches, gum and inhalers while continuing to smoke can cut their daily cigarette consumption almost in half, according to a new study. Using data from 11 previous studies of nicotine replacement products, Swedish researcher Karl Olov Fagerstr?m and colleagues calculated an approximate 50 percent drop in daily cigarette consumption among smokers across all the studies. The individuals also reduced their exposure to harmful carbon monoxide, a toxic smoking byproduct, by 30 percent.

Study: Two-thirds of Americans have some physical or mental illness

The total package of good physical and mental health is elusive for most American adults, according to new research. Two-thirds of U.S. adults participating in a 1995 survey reported some degree of physical or mental infirmity that kept them from being completely healthy. The remaining third of the survey group was split into nearly equal percentages of completely healthy and completely unhealthy individuals, say the study’s authors.