Why do people who know better, and who even believe themselves to be of high character, virtue, or morality, fall short of their standards? This project will provide an answer to this question by examining the role that intentional self regulation and character exemplars play in the virtuous behaviors of individuals. As such, this project will provide the evidence base for interventions that may substantially narrow the gap between espoused positive character and enacted negative or problematic behavior. We propose that control of one's mind facilitates positive engagement with the world (“When you rule your mind, you rule your world,” Sir John, 2000). We will conduct a short-term longitudinal study of students beginning in Grades 5, 7, and 9. The hypotheses that we will test about the positive links among ISR, character development, character exemplars, and youth contributions reflect both inferences derived from the writing of Sir John (2000, 2012) and from the extant literature in developmental psychology (see the Literature Review). Our key goal is to provide new research findings about the development of virtues and moral behavior in adolescence. The output measure most representative is the scholarly publications that will result from this work. These publications will add to the knowledge base and will shape future research in the field. A minimum of 12 scholarly papers will result from this longitudinal study. In addition we will publish several books and book chapters, creating a study website and a data archive to be made available to scholars. We will also be involved in making media and conference presentations to maximize the dissemination of findings.