Perceived control as a longitudinal moderator of late-life stressors on depressive symptoms

This study utilized longitudinal methodology to examine perceived control as a moderator of the relationship between late life stressors and depressive symptoms among a sample of older New Zealanders. Data were gathered during two data collection periods, one year apart.The time 1 sample consisted of 1489 participants ranging in age from 65 to 94 years. Seventy-two percent of the original sample participated in the time 2 data collection. Correlational and multiple regression procedures were used to examine study hypotheses. Results indicated that time1 perceived control beliefs were a unique predictor of depressive symptoms at time 2, controlling for time 1 depressive symptoms and other relevant variables.Regression procedures indicated that perceived control beliefs at time 1 moderated the relationship between late life stressors and depressive symptoms at time 2. Those with low perceived control demonstrated a stronger relationship between late life stressors and depressive symptoms than those with high perceived control. This study provides evidence that perceived control influences depressive symptoms over time and that control beliefs moderate the relationship between late life stressors and depressive symptoms among older adults.


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