The effect of perceived control on self-reported cardiovascular disease incidence across adulthood and old age

Frank Infurna, Axel Mayer, Kaarin J. Anstey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine whether rates of change in perceived control are predictive of cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidence across adulthood and old age. Design: We used the PATH Through Life Project (n = 7103, M = 40, SD = 16; 52% women), a longitudinal panel survey that encompasses three cohorts at Time 1, ages 20–24, 40–44 and 60–64, who have been assessed three times at four-year intervals. Method: We examined whether rates of change in perceived control were associated with CVD incidence over 8 years of time, over and above that of baseline levels of perceived control and known risk factors for CVD. Main Outcome Measures: Self-reported CVD incidence. Results: Increases in perceived control over time were associated with decreased likelihood of 8-year incidence of CVD and these effects were independent of socio-demographics, covariates and baseline levels of perceived control. The effects were consistent across young adulthood, midlife and old age and for men and women. Conclusions: Findings demonstrate the importance of changes in perceived control as a predictor of CVD incidence across adulthood and old age. We suggest future research using mediation analysis to test reverse causality and mechanisms underlying the effects of perceived control on CVD incidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalPsychology and Health
StateAccepted/In press - Jun 24 2017



  • adulthood and old age
  • cardiovascular disease
  • developmental health processes
  • PATH through life project
  • sense of control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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