Perceived control reduces mortality risk for lesser educated

February 11, 2014
Perceived control reduces mortality risk for lesser educated

(HealthDay)—Stronger beliefs of control over one's life are associated with reduced risk of mortality among those with lower levels of educational attainment, according to research published online Feb. 3 in in Health Psychology.

Nicholas A. Turiano, Ph.D., of the University of Rochester in New York, and colleagues analyzed data for a sample of 6,135 adults, aged 25 to 75 years, from the national survey of Midlife in the United States. The researchers sought to assess whether the sense of control over one's life would moderate the association between educational level and risk of mortality.

The researchers found that both higher current level of education and stronger beliefs about control were associated with lower risk of dying regardless of childhood socioeconomic level. Among those with lower levels of education, higher control beliefs were associated with of mortality. Among those with higher levels of education, higher control beliefs did not reduce risk of mortality. This pattern persisted after adjustment for confounders, such as health behaviors, depressed affect, and general health.

"These findings demonstrate the importance of individual perceptions of control in buffering the risk associated with educational disadvantage," the authors write.

Explore further: Perceived control reduces mortality risk at low, not high, education levels

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