The influence of perceived control on subjective wellbeing in later life
- 729 Downloads
It has been proposed that a sense of control (primary control) is critical to maintaining positive and stable subjective wellbeing (SWB). As people age and control capacity presumably declines (due to physical and cognitive deterioration and increased sociocultural challenges), it is argued that the influence of secondary perceived control (or acceptance) increases to help maintain normative levels of SWB. While previous studies have typically investigated the relationship between perceived control and global estimates of satisfaction (i.e., overall life satisfaction), the present study evaluated the link between perceived control and seven key domains of satisfaction in order to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of the control-satisfaction relationship. A community-based sample of 1,317 individuals (age range: 17–92 years) was utilised to examine potential age-related differences in perceived control (primary and secondary) and satisfaction. Findings revealed that primary and secondary perceived control both increased across age, with secondary perceived control increasing at a higher rate. Primary perceived control had predictive primacy for satisfaction over secondary perceived control (consistent with theory). A moderated mediation effect was also found, suggesting that, in later life, secondary perceived control influences primary perceived control and, in turn, influences satisfaction with various domains. Therefore, while primary control is important to wellbeing, it should be acknowledged that secondary perceived control may have unique significance to the wellbeing of older adults.
KeywordsSubjective wellbeing Quality of life Perceived control Primary control Secondary control Older adults
- Arbuckle, J. L. (2009). Amos 18 user’s guide. Chicago: Amos Development Corporation.Google Scholar
- Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analyses for the behavioural sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Cummins, R. A., Woerner, J., Tomyn, A., Gibson, A., Lai, L., & Collard, J. (2007). Australian Unity wellbeing index: The wellbeing of Australians—Changing conditions to make life better (No. 18.0). Melbourne: Australian Centre on Quality of Life.Google Scholar
- International Wellbeing Group. (2006). Personal wellbeing index (4th edn). Melbourne: Australian Centre on Quality of Life, Deakin University. Retrieved October 02, 2012, from: http://www.deakin.edu.au/research/acqol/instruments/wellbeing_index.htm.
- Lachman, M. E., & Firth, K. M. (2004). The adaptive value of feeling in control during midlife. In O. G. Brim, C. D. Ryff, & R. Kessler (Eds.), How healthy are we? A national study of well-being at midlife (pp. 320–349). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Lucas, R. E., & Gohm, C. L. (2000). Age and sex differences in subjective well-being across cultures. In E. Diener & E. M. Suh (Eds.), Culture and subjective well-being (pp. 291–317). Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2007). Using multivariate statistics (5th ed.). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
- Tomyn, A. J., Fuller Tyszkiewicz, M. & Cummins, R. A. (2012, online first). The personal wellbeing index: Psychometric equivalence for adults and school children. Social Indicators Research.Google Scholar