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Long-Term Antecedents and Outcomes of Perceived Control


  • Frank J. Infurna
  • Denis Gerstorf
  • Nilam Ram
  • Jürgen Schupp
  • Gert G. Wagner


Perceived control plays an important role in shaping development throughout adulthood and old age. Using data from the adult lifespan sample of the national German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP; N > 10,000, covering 25 years of measurement), we explored long-term antecedents, correlates, and outcomes of perceived control and examined if associations differ with age. Targeting correlates and antecedents of control, findings indicated that higher concurrent levels of social participation, life satisfaction, and self-rated health as well as more positive changes in social participation over the preceding 11 years were each predictive of between-person differences in perceived control. Targeting health outcomes of control, survival analyses revealed that perceived control predicted 14-year hazard rates for disability (n = 996 became disabled) and mortality (n = 1,382 died). The effect for mortality, but not for disability, was independent of socio-demographic and psychosocial factors. Overall, we found very limited support for age-differential associations. Our results provide further impetus to thoroughly examine processes involved in antecedent-consequent relations among perceived control, facets of social life, well-being, and health.

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  • Frank J. Infurna & Denis Gerstorf & Nilam Ram & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2011. "Long-Term Antecedents and Outcomes of Perceived Control," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 355, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp355

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Martin Spieß & Martin Kroh & Rainer Pischner & Gert G. Wagner, 2008. "On the Treatment of Non-Original Sample Members in the German Household Panel Study (SOEP): Tracing, Weighting, and Frequencies," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 98, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    2. Susanne Wurm & Clemens Tesch-Römer & Martin J. Tomasik, 2007. "Longitudinal Findings on Aging-Related Cognitions, Control Beliefs, and Health in Later Life," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 62(3), pages 156-164.
    3. Bruce Headey & Jürgen Schupp & Ingrid Tucci & Gert G. Wagner, 2008. "Authentic Happiness Theory Supported by Impact of Religion on Life Satisfaction: A Longitudinal Analysis with Data for Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 151, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
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    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Wangshuai & Li, Jie & Sun, Gong & Zhang, Xin-an & Cheng, Zhiming, 2016. "The Costs to Life Satisfaction of Impression Management: The Sense of Control and Loneliness as Mediators," MPRA Paper 72912, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Gerstorf, Denis & Hoppmann, Christiane A. & Löckenhoff, Corinna E. & Infurna, Frank J. & Schupp, Jürgen & Wagner, Gert G., 2016. "Terminal Decline in Well-Being: The Role of Social Orientation," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 149-165.
    3. Patricia Sancho & Laura Galiana & Melchor Gutierrez & Elizabeth-Hama Francisco & José Tomás, 2014. "Validating the Portuguese Version of the Satisfaction With Life Scale in an Elderly Sample," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 115(1), pages 457-466, January.
    4. Jule Specht & Boris Egloff & Stefan C. Schmukle, 2012. "Everything under Control?: The Effects of Age, Gender, and Education on Trajectories of Perceived Control in a Nationally Representative German Sample," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 445, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

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    Control; lifespan development; disability; mortality; psychosocial;

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