Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: September 2020

13 - School Environments that Facilitate Delaying Gratification

from Part III - Interventions from Educational and Social/Personality Psychology


This chapter provides an overview of research factors and interventions that facilitate delaying gratification in academic settings. In learning settings, academic delay of gratification refers to students’ postponement of immediately available opportunities to satisfy impulses in favor of pursuing important academic rewards or goals that are temporally remote but ostensibly more valuable. The first section of this chapter provides a brief overview and the theoretical underpinnings of Bandura’s (1997) social cognitive theory and Zimmerman’s (2013) self-regulated learning model, with an emphasis on delay of gratification. The second section focuses on how school psychologists can help educators to put in place schoolwide processes that help make it easier for students to delay gratification. The third section describes interventions that can be implemented by school psychologists, teachers, and administrators to assist students who struggle with delaying gratification. The final section provides recommendations for facilitating delaying gratification in school environments and suggests future research.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO
Barkley, R. A. (Ed.). (2014). Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: A handbook for diagnosis and treatment. New York, NY: Guilford Publications.
Bembenutty, H. (2011). New directions for self-regulation of learning in postsecondary education. New directions for teaching and learning. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Bembenutty, H., Cleary, T. J., & Kitsantas, A. (Eds.). (2013). Applications of self-regulated learning across diverse disciplines: A tribute to Barry J. Zimmerman. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
Bradley–Johnson, S., & Dean, V. J. (2000). Role change for school psychology: The challenge continues in the new millennium. Psychology in the Schools, 37, 15.<1::AID-PITS1>3.0.CO;2-Q
Cleary, T. E. (2015). Self-regulated learning interventions with at-risk youth: Enhancing adaptability, performance, and well-being. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Elliot, A. J., & Dweck, C. S. (Eds.). (2013). Handbook of competence and motivation. New York, NY: Guilford Publications.
Erchul, W. P. (2014). Handbook of research in school consultation. New York, NY: Routledge.
Paloutzian, R. F., & Park, C. L. (Eds.). (2014). Handbook of the psychology of religion and spirituality. New York, NY: Guilford Publications.
Abd-El-Fattah, S. M., & AL-Nabhani, H. Z. (2012). From self-theories of intelligence to academic delay of gratification: The mediating role of achievement goals. Australian Journal of Educational & Developmental Psychology, 12, 93107.
Angold, A., Erkanli, A., Egger, H. L., & Costello, E. J. (2000). Stimulant treatment for children: A community perspective. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 39, 975984.
Antshel, K. M., & Barkley, R. (2008). Psychosocial interventions in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 17, 421437.
Avci, S. (2013). Relations between self-regulation, future time perspective and the delay of gratification in university students. Education, 133, 525537.
Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York, NY: Freeman.
Bandura, A. (2019). Applying theory for human betterment. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 14, 1215.
Bandura, A., & Mischel, W. (1965). Modifications of self-imposed delay of reward through exposure to live and symbolic models. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2, 698705.
Bembenutty, H. (2016). Motivation and self-regulated learning among preservice and in-service teachers enrolled in educational psychology courses. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 2, 231244.
Bembenutty, H., & Karabenick, S. A. (1998). Academic delay of gratification. Learning and Individual Differences, 10, 329346.
Bembenutty, H., & Karabenick, S. A. (2004). Inherent association between academic delay of gratification, future time perspective, and self-regulated learning. Educational Psychology Review, 16, 3557.
Bembenutty, H., & Karabenick, S. A. (2013). Self-regulation, culture, and academic delay of gratification. Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology, 12, 323337.
Bray, M. A., & Kehle, T. J. (Eds.). (2013). The Oxford handbook of school psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Briesch, A. M., & Chafouleas, S. M. (2009). Review and analysis of literature on self-management interventions to promote appropriate classroom behaviors. School Psychology Quarterly, 24, 106118.
Butler, D. L. (2003). Structuring instruction to promote self-regulated learning by adolescents and adults with learning disabilities. Exceptionality, 11, 3960.
Butler, D. L., & Schnellert, L. (2015). Success for students with learning disabilities: What does self-regulation have to do with it? In Cleary, T. J. (Ed.), Self-regulated learning interventions with at-risk youth: Enhancing adaptability, performance, and well-being (pp. 89111). Washington, DC: APA Press.
Chakraborty, R. (2017). Validation of the Academic Delay of Gratification Scale among Indian professional courses students. The International Journal of Indian Psychology, 4, 150159.
Cleary, T. J. (2011). Professional development needs and practices among educators and school psychologists. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 126, 7787.
Cleary, T. J. (2015). Introduction: An overview of applications of self-regulated learning. In Cleary, T. J. (Ed.), Self-regulated learning interventions with at-risk youth: Enhancing adaptability, performance, and well-being (pp. 311). Washington, DC: APA Publication Press.
Cleary, T. J., Gubi, A., & Prescott, M. V. (2010). Motivation and self-regulation assessments in urban and suburban schools: Professional practices and needs of school psychologists. Psychology in the Schools, 47, 9851002.
Datu, J. A. D., Labarda, C. E., & Salanga, M. G. C. (2019). Flourishing is associated with achievement goal orientations and academic delay of gratification in a collectivist context. Journal of Happiness Studies. Advance online publication.
Doidge, J. L., Flora, D. B., & Toplak, M. E. (2018). A meta-analytic review of sex differences on delay of gratification and temporal discounting tasks in ADHD and typically developing samples. Journal of Attention Disorders. Advance online publication.
Dündar, Ş. (2018). Exploring the relationship between constructivist learning environments, attitudes, academic delay of gratification, and teaching efficacy beliefs in a social studies teaching course. Journal of International Social Studies, 8(2), 328.
DuPaul, G. J., & Eckert, T. L. (1997). The effects of school-based interventions for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: A meta-analysis. School Psychology Review, 26, 527.
Fagan, T. K. (2003). School psychology. In Weiner, I. B. (Editor in Chief), Handbook of psychology, Vol. I, History of psychology (Friedman, D. K., Vol. ed., pp. 413429). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Fagan, T. K. (2014). Trends in the history of school psychology in the United States. In Harrison, P. & Thomas, A. (Eds.), Best practices in school psychology: Foundations (pp. 383399). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.
Hoza, B., Mrug, S., Pelham, Jr., W. E., Greiner, A. R., & Gnagy, E. M. (2003). A friendship intervention for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Preliminary findings. Journal of Attention Disorders, 6, 8798.
King, R. B., & Du, H. (2011). All good things come to those who wait: Validating the Chinese version of the Academic Delay of Gratification Scale (ADOGS). The International Journal of Educational and Psychological Assessment, 7, 6480.
Lee, P. L., Lan, W., Wang, C. L., & Chiu, H. Y. (2008). Helping young children to delay gratification. Early Childhood Education Journal, 35, 557564.
Mikami, A. Y. (2010). The importance of friendship for youth with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 13, 181198.
Min, G. (2018). Social influences on young children’s developing inhibitory control abilities (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Boston University, MA. Retrieved from
Mischel, W. (2014). The marshmallow test: Mastering self-control. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Co.
Mischel, W., & Ebbesen, E. B. (1970). Attention in delay of gratification. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 16, 329337.
Mischel, W., Ebbesen, E. B., & Zeiss, A. R. (1973). Selective attention to the self: Situational and dispositional determinants. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 27, 129142.
Mohsin, F. Z., & Ayub, N. (2014). The relationship between procrastination, delay of gratification, and job satisfaction among high school teachers. Japanese Psychological Research, 56, 224234.
MTA Cooperative Group. (2004). National Institute of Mental Health Multimodal Treatment Study of ADHD follow-up: 24-month outcomes of treatment strategies for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Pediatrics, 113, 754761.
Peake, P. K. (2017). Delay of gratification: Explorations of how and why children wait and its linkages to outcomes over the life course. In Stevens, J. R. (Ed.), Impulsivity, Nebraska Symposium on Motivation 64 (pp. 760). New York, NY: Springer.
Reynolds, C. R., & Gutkin, T. B. (Eds.). (1999). The handbook of school psychology (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley.
Sun, W., Wang, N., & Shen, L. (2019). The relationship between employment pressure and occupational delay of gratification among college students: Positive psychological capital as a mediator. Current Psychology. Advance online publication.
Urdan, T. C., & Maehr, M. (1995). Beyond a two-goal theory of motivation: A case for social goals. Review of Educational Research, 65, 213244.
Wolters, C. A., & Hoops, L. D. (2015). Self-regulated learning interventions for motivationally disengaged college students. In Cleary, T. J. (Ed.), Self-regulated learning interventions with at-risk youth: Enhancing adaptability, performance, and well-being (pp. 6788). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Zhang, L., Karabenick, S. A., Maruno, S. I., & Lauermann, F. (2011). Academic delay of gratification and children’s study time allocation as a function of proximity to consequential academic goals. Learning and Instruction, 21, 7794.
Zimmerman, B. J. (2013). From cognitive modeling to self-regulation: A social cognitive career path. Educational Psychologist, 48, 113.
Zimmerman, B. J., & Schunk, D. H. (Eds.). (2011). Handbook of self-regulation of learning and performance. New York, NY: Routledge.
Zimmerman, B. J., Schunk, D. H., & DiBenedetto, M. K. (2017). Role of self-efficacy and related beliefs in self-regulation of learning and performance. In Elliot, A., Dweck, C. S., & Yeager, D. S. (Eds.), Handbook of competence and motivation: Theory and application (2nd ed., pp. 313333). New York, NY: Guilford Press.