Social activity in midlife and older age: A cause or outcome of perceived control?

Rachel Curtis, Oliver Huxhold, Timothy Windsor

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Social activity participation is associated with positive outcomes in older adults, but tends to decline with age. Individuals with greater perceived control have greater confidence in their ability to achieve outcomes and may be more likely to choose difficult activities, show persistence, and employ strategies to overcome barriers to activity. Cross-sectional research links perceived control with social activity but provides little insight into the direction of influence. This study examined reciprocal 3-year lagged associations between perceived control and social activity, using cross-lagged autoregressive modelling with age as the time metric, and cohort-sequential longitudinal data from 14126 midlife and older adults in the German Ageing Survey (DEAS). Perceived control significantly predicted social activity 3 years later and vice versa. The influence of perceived control on social activity was greater than the influence of social activity on perceived control. This finding has potential implications for developing interventions aimed at promoting social activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271
Number of pages1
JournalThe Gerontologist
Issue numberSuppl. 3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016
EventThe Gerontological Society of America’s 69th Annual Scientific Meeting - New Orleans, United States
Duration: 16 Nov 201620 Nov 2016


  • Social activity
  • older adults
  • midlife
  • older age
  • achieve outcomes
  • control


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