The Relevance of Control Beliefs for Health and Aging


Is high control always adaptive?



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Is high control always adaptive?

Although a high sense of control is usually found to be desirable, there are some indications that a low sense of control maybe protective in some circumstances,


SOCIAL And HeALTH fACTORS THAT ImPACT AgIng
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THe ReLeVAnCe Of COnTROL BeLIefS fOR HeALTH And AgIng
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especially those in which there are limited opportunities for control (
found that recent widows with greater levels of perceived control over their social support had poorer overall adjustment across the first four months of widowhood. further longitudinal analyses over longer periods are needed to investigate whether a high sense of control maybe more beneficial for resilience and coping over the long run. Those who have a strong sense of control would be expected to be more resourceful and better at finding ways to cope with uncontrollable events or unattainable goals or outcomes by using secondary rather than primary control strategies (In some cases, realistic assessments of control maybe more beneficial than optimistic or overestimations of control, but little is known about these conditions. As put it, knowing when to shuck off responsibility over matters clearly outside one’s span of control maybe a form of wisdom, and associated with increased personal well-being.
In institutional settings, relinquishing control and reducing agentic behaviors in favor of behavioral dependency maybe adaptive, especially in cases of health vulnerabilities and reduced capacity (

). In part, this maybe because some staff inadvertently promote and reward dependency because it is easier and more efficient for them to take control of feeding, bathing, dressing, than to encourage older adults to take responsibility for these activities of daily living, and older adults may welcome this as attention and support (


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