Developing an integrative model of control : implications for psychological functioning

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Developing an integrative model of control : implications for psychological functioning

 

Author: Wu, Chi Hang Wesley
Title: Developing an integrative model of control : implications for psychological functioning
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2015
Subject: Control (Psychology)
Locus of control
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Applied Social Sciences
Pages: 118 pages : illustrations
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2823810
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/8116
Abstract: The development of control-related constructs have involved different approaches over time, and yet internal and external locus of control are conceptualized as dichotomous factors influencing active versus avoidant coping strategies. While external control is associated with avoidance, a similar belief construct fate control, which denotes that life events are pre-determined and influenced by external forces but predictable and alterable, challenges the assumption of incompatibility between fate and agency. It is hypothesized that external control predicts avoidant coping, which in turn predicts psychological distress. Fate control, in contrast, is hypothesized to predict both active and avoidant coping when dealing with stress. The model was confirmed using a cross-sectional approach in Study 1 (n = 251 university students) and hypothetical stressful scenarios in Study 2 (n = 294 university students). Furthermore, Study 2 identified perceived controllability as a moderator of such relationship, i.e. people high in fate control were more likely to use active coping in more controllable stressors but more likely to adopt avoidant coping in low controllable situations. The moderating effect was observed in self-reported coping behaviours using a diary approach in Study 3 (n = 188 university students and 102 community adults) and actual behaviours using an experimental design in Study 4 (n = 202 university students). Overall, this research has found discriminant validity of fate control and external control. By testing the dynamic theory of control, the findings offer an alternative perspective to the dichotomous view of control and provide implications for coping strategies and psychological health.

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