The Relevance of Control Beliefs for Health and Aging


PartSOCIAL And HeALTH fACTORS THAT ImPACT AgIng



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SOCIAL And HeALTH fACTORS THAT ImPACT AgIng
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Chapter to developing prevention-oriented interventions for young and middle-aged adults, to promote a sense of control over aging before declines and losses become salient (
Lachman, 2004
). Previous research has looked primarily at the consequences of control beliefs and relatively few studies have focused on their sources or directly addressed issues of causality and directionality (
Lachman, 2006
). further understanding of the distal and proximal antecedents of control beliefs could reveal how to create optimal conditions for promoting a resilient sense of control.

Research on the sense of control can also teach us important lessons about the psychology of aging, more generally. Of utmost importance is that expect- ancies make a difference for the course of aging, and sense of control is chief among them. despite the apparent value of perceived control, a recognition that some aspects of life are not under personal control is a key part of adaptive aging. This requires a delicate balance of knowing when to persist and when to switch gears, with the healthy realization that some aspects of aging are out of one’s hands. Throughout the chapter we have made suggestions about new directions for work on control beliefs and aging. As more researchers continue to incorporate this construct in their work, it will give us the opportunities to learn more about the power and potential of control beliefs for understanding aging-related changes and for enhancing performance and functioning throughout adulthood and old age.


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