Delay discounting and health risk behaviors: The potential role of stress

Sherecce A. Fields, Ashley Ramos, Brady A. Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This article explores recent research in delay discounting, stress and the relationship of these constructs with health risk behaviors. Recent findings have confirmed that both delay discounting and stress are important correlates of risky health behaviors and have advanced our understanding of the relationship between discounting and stress and their role as processes related to the initiation and maintenance of risky health behaviors. An integration of the available research literature suggests that when individuals are under stress, they shift to a more immediate-oriented mindset (as reflected by more impulsive delay discounting), the immediate motivation being to relieve stress, and so individuals engage in maladaptive coping mechanisms, such as engaging in risky health behaviors. Establishing linkages between stress, delay discounting, and risky health behaviors could provide a more specific mechanism (i.e., delay discounting) on which to focus prevention and intervention strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-105
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychology
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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