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Event Controllability Moderates the Relation Between Perceived Control and Adjustment to Stressors

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This study assessed whether the relations between perceived past, present, and future control and adjustment to stressors was moderated by the objective controllability of the stressor among 637 undergraduate students. Both past and future control were associated with more distress and less self-reported growth when events were less objectively controllable, and were generally unrelated to adjustment when events were more objectively controllable. Event controllability did not moderate the relations between present control and distress; present control was the only type of control consistently associated with better adjustment. Control perceptions may be more adaptive if they better match objective stressor controllability.
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Keywords: adjustment; distress; perceived control; stress; stress-related growth; trauma

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Publication date: November 2, 2015

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