• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

At every point in the life span, individual differences in a sense of control are strong predictors of motivation, coping, success, and failure in a wide range of life domains. What are the origins of these individual differences, how do they develop, and what are the mechanisms by which they exert such influence on psychological functioning? This book draws on theories and research covering key control constructs, including self-efficacy, learned helplessness, locus of control, and attribution theory. Ellen A. Skinner discusses such issues as the origins of control in social interactions; environmental features that promote or undermine control; developmental change in the mechanisms by which experiences of control have their effects on action; and the implications for intervening into the competence system, including interventions for ...

How Does Perceived Control Work during Times of Stress?
How does perceived control work during times of stress?

From the enormous literature on the benefits of control, it is easy to conclude that perceived control should be a powerful ally in times of stress. In fact, in research on stress, objective uncontrollability and unpredictability are considered noxious events, requiring adaptation from the organism (Garmezy, 1983; Miller, 1979; Rodin, 1986). In the study of psychological resources for coping, perceived control has been found to buffer stress for children (Compas, 1987; Compas, Banez, Malcarne, & Worsham, 1991), adults (Folkman, 1984; Lefcourt, 1982), and the elderly (Rodin et al., 1985). In his review of the early work, Lefcourt (1982) suggested that, “evidence has been found that resourcefulness and resilience ...

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