Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Behav Med. 2013 Mar;20(1):140-7. doi: 10.1007/s12529-011-9218-x.

Sense of control and self-reported health in a population-based sample of older Americans: assessment of potential confounding by affect, personality, and social support.

Author information

1
Intramural Research Program, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. wardm1@mail.nih.gov

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Sense of control has been linked to improved health outcomes, but it is unclear if this association is independent of other psychosocial factors.

PURPOSE:

The aim of this study is to test the strength of association between sense of control and self-reported health after adjustment for positive and negative affect, "Big 5" personality factors, and social support.

METHOD:

Data on sense of control (measured by personal mastery, perceived constraints, and a health-specific rating of control), affect, personality, social support, and two measures of self-reported health (global rating of fair or poor health and presence of functional limitations) were obtained on 6,891 participants in the Health and Retirement Study, a population-based survey of older Americans. The cross-sectional association between sense of control measures and each measure of self-reported health was tested in hierarchical logistic regression models, before and after adjustment for affect, personality, and social support.

RESULTS:

Participants with higher personal mastery were less likely to report fair/poor health (odds ratio 0.76 per 1-point increase) while those with higher perceived constraints were more likely to report fair/poor health (odds ratio 1.37 per 1-point increase). Associations remained after adjustment for affect, but adjustment for affect attenuated the association of personal mastery by 37% and of perceived constraints by 67%. Further adjustment for personality and social support did not alter the strength of association. Findings were similar for the health-specific rating of control, and for associations with functional limitations.

CONCLUSION:

Sense of control is associated with self-reported health in older Americans, but this association is partly confounded by affect.

PMID:
22282403
PMCID:
PMC3521845
DOI:
10.1007/s12529-011-9218-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center