Antecedents and outcomes of level and rates of change in perceived control: The moderating role of age

Frank Infurna, Morris A. Okun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Perceived control is interrelated with aging-related outcomes across adulthood and old age. Relatively little is known, however, about resources as antecedents of longitudinal change in perceived control and the role of perceived control as a buffer against mortality risk when these resources are low. We examined functional limitations, depressive symptoms, and emotional support as antecedents of level and rates of change in perceived control and whether level and rates of change in perceived control buffer the relations between high functional limitations and depressive symptoms and lack of emotional support and mortality risk. In addition, age was investigated as a moderator of these associations. To do so, we used 16-year longitudinal data from participants in the Americans' Changing Lives (ACL) Study who were at least 40 years old at Wave 1 (N = 2,540; mean age = 62.85, SD = 12.15; 65% women). With respect to the antecedents of perceived control, results indicated that more functional limitations and depressive symptoms, as well as having less emotional support, were each associated with lower levels of and stronger declines in perceived control over time. Additionally, more functional limitations and less emotional support were more detrimental to levels of perceived control in midlife compared to old age. Focusing on outcomes of perceived control, more positive rates of change in perceived control protected against mortality risk for those with fewer functional limitations and depressive symptoms and more emotional support, and this was more pronounced for functional limitations and depressive symptoms in old age as compared to midlife. Our discussion focuses on the complex interplay among perceived control, functional limitations, depressive symptoms, and emotional support; how they vary with age; and the implications of our findings for interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1420-1437
Number of pages18
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Volume51
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2015

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Keywords

  • Adulthood and old age
  • Americans' changing lives study
  • Sense of control
  • Shared growth-survival models
  • Successful aging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • Demography

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