Exploring the Roles of Emotions, Motivations, Self-Efficacy, and Secondary Control Following Critical Unexpected Life Events
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- Turner, J.E., Goodin, J.B. & Lokey, C. J Adult Dev (2012) 19: 215. doi:10.1007/s10804-012-9148-0
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We examined individuals’ retrospective accounts and personal analyses regarding how their emotional, motivational, and epistemological beliefs coalesced to affect their long-term coping and resilience following a critical life event. Analyses from interviewed subjects who had encountered significant life-changing events revealed three major themes that influenced their decisions, abilities for self-regulation, and life course paths: (1) types of unexpected events, (2) types and intensity of emotional responses to the critical event, and (3) beliefs about primary control (i.e., personal agency and self-efficacy) and mediated control (i.e., external sources of influence). Regarding the extent to which participants experienced resiliency and current satisfaction with their lives, a dominant theme was their ability to see their critical life events as part of a larger tapestry—involving issues of personal and externally mediated controls—that provided a framework for their positive redirections, perceptions of self-efficacy, and abilities for coping and self-regulation.