Document Detail

Age, education, and the gender gap in the sense of control.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18630189     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
High sense of control is related to benefits in many aspects of life, and education is known to be strongly related to sense of control. In this article we explore why women tend to feel a lower sense of control than men, and why the sense of control tends to be lower among the elderly than among younger people. In particular we explore the role played by education in explaining age- and gender differences in sense of control. The analysis is based on data from the first wave of the Norwegian NorLAG study, with a representative sample of adults aged 40-79 in 30 municipalities. We find that education accounts for some of the age and gender differences in sense of control, but the mediating effects of education are rather modest. We find an increasing gender gap in sense of control with age, and this increasing gap is completely explained by differences in education. Gender differences in sense of control is explained completely by four factors, which are related to resources and power; physical health, education, living with a partner, and leadership experience. Age differences in sense of control are only partially explained. Education, physical health and employment status cuts the age effect on sense of control to half. The effect of education on sense of control is partly mediated through what we suggest are tangible benefits of education, namely health, employment, and leadership experience. Education also influences individuals through socialization mechanisms. We view agentive orientation as a psychological benefit of education, and measure this characteristic with Bem's (1981) sex-role scale on masculinity. Agentive orientation completely explains the remaining effect of education on sense of control.
Britt Slagsvold; Annemette Sørensen
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  International journal of aging & human development     Volume:  67     ISSN:  0091-4150     ISO Abbreviation:  Int J Aging Hum Dev     Publication Date:  2008  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-07-16     Completed Date:  2008-09-22     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0370033     Medline TA:  Int J Aging Hum Dev     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  25-42     Citation Subset:  IM    
Norwegian Social Research, NOVA, Oslo, Norway.
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MeSH Terms
Aging / psychology*
Data Collection
Educational Status*
Gender Identity*
Geriatric Assessment
Health Status
Internal-External Control*
Middle Aged
Power (Psychology)
United States

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