Milieu and personal control in the elderly

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Luis Escovar

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Mary Levitt

Third Advisor's Name

William Kurtines


Older people, Psychology, Control (Psychology)

Date of Defense



This paper provides evidence that certain aspects of an elderly person's life can affect their sense of personal control and adjustment. Personal control was measured in a group of 75 elderly men and women, age 55 to 84 years, who were participating in multi-purpose senior centers in Broward County, Florida. Seventeen predictor variables, clustered into three groups, demographic, social behavior, and physical health, were utilized to predict personal control in this group of aged individuals. Locus of control was measured by an adaptation of Rotter's (1960) I-E scale (Cicirelli, 1980). One demographic variable social position, and three social behavior variables were significant predictors. Variables affecting a belief in external control were level of social position, level of inactivity, amount of social participation, contact with friends and relatives and the number of sickdays.



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