Aging and the Sense of Control

Leah Rohlfsen, Arizona State University

Role gains and losses, as well as changes in health status and function are important transitions that affect the mental health and well-being of the aging population across the life course. The aging population is especially susceptible to the effects of low sense of control. Prior research on these issues, however, has often relied on cross-sectional data, and there have been inconsistent findings. Our research will examine how perceived health, life expectancy, number of chronic conditions, disability, volunteer work, and employment affect the relationships between age and the sense of control. Our study uses two waves of the Aging, Status, and Sense of Control (ASOC) Survey. Results indicate a negative relationship between number of chronic conditions one has been diagnosed with and the sense of control, and number of chronic conditions appears to explain part of the association between age and the sense of control.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Health, Mortality, Aging, Biology