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This study examined the utility of a new conceptualization for understanding older adults' perceptions of control in social situations. Fifty-four participants (M age = 75.4 years) completed questionnaires and structured interviews assessing social beliefs. Agency beliefs (about possession of certain social resources) and means-ends beliefs (about the importance of certain social resources) were related to perceived control in social situations. Results indicated that perceived social control was predicted by agency beliefs for all four resources studied (social skills, effort, helpful/nice others, luck) and by the interaction of agency and means-ends beliefs for the social skills resource. Also, perceived social control was positively correlated with social satisfaction, which further supported the utility of this conceptualization.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1999-01-01

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