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Trajectories of late-life change in God-mediated control

Publication Abstract

Hayward, R., and Neal Krause. 2013. "Trajectories of late-life change in God-mediated control." The Journals of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 68(1): 49-58.

OBJECTIVE: To track within-individual change during late life in the sense of personal control and God-mediated control (the belief that one can work collaboratively with God to achieve one's goals and exercise control over life events) and to evaluate the hypothesis that this element of religion is related to declining personal control. METHOD: A longitudinal survey representative of older White and Black adults in the United States tracked changes in personal and God-mediated control in four waves over the course of 7 years. RESULTS: Growth curve analysis found that the pattern of change differed by race. White adults had less sense of God-mediated control at younger ages, which increased among those who were highly religious but decreased among those who were less religious. Black adults had higher God-mediated control, which increased over time among those with low personal control. DISCUSSION: These results indicate that God-mediated control generally increases during older adulthood, but that its relationships with personal control and religious commitment are complex and differ between Black and White adults.

DOI:10.1093/geronb/gbs054 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC3693601. (Pub Med Central)

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