Antecedent-consequent relations of perceived control to health and social support: Longitudinal evidence for between-domain associations across adulthood

Denis Gerstorf, Christina Röcke, Margie E. Lachman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives. To examine antecedent - consequent relations of perceived control to health and social support across adulthood and old age. Methods. We applied (multigroup) change score models to two waves of data collected 9 years apart from 6,210 participants of the Midlife in the United States survey (MIDUS, 24-75 years at baseline). We used composite measures of perceived control (personal mastery and constraints), health (chronic conditions, acute conditions, and functional limitations), and social support (support and strain associated with spouse/partner, family, and friends). Results. Analyses revealed evidence for direct and independent multidirectional accounts. Greater initial control predicted weaker declines in health and stronger increases in support. In turn, increases in control were predicted by better initial health and more support. Changes in control were also accompanied by concurrent changes in the other two domains, and relations involving control were larger in size than those between health and support. We found only small sociodemographic differences across age, gender, and education group. Discussion. We conclude that perceiving control may serve as both a precursor and an outcome of health and social support across the adult age range and suggest routes for further inquiry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-71
Number of pages11
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume66 B
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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