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URMC / Research / Research@URMC / February 2014 / Can Feeling “In Control” Lead to a Longer Life?

Can Feeling “In Control” Lead to a Longer Life?

Control key on keyboardThe less education you have, the more your attitude counts when it comes to staying alive and well. That’s the finding of a new study led by University of Rochester personality researcher, Nicholas Turiano, Ph.D.  The study, published in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Health Psychology, found that adults without college degrees live longer if they feel like they’re in control of their lives.  Those who feel little control are three times as likely to die. 

“Being uneducated and poor doesn’t mean you’re doomed, despite all of the studies showing people with less education are more likely to experience disease, disability, and premature death,” says Turiano, a postdoctoral fellow in Psychiatry.

Turiano cautions more research is needed to find out why or how people develop a strong sense of control, or when this development occurs.  Researchers suspect numerous innate and external factors contribute to perceived control.  Turiano says further study could lead to interventions that help this population feel more positive and, ultimately, live longer.  The study showed a sense of control did not impact the mortality rates of people with higher levels of education.

Read more about the study here

Emily Boynton | 2/3/2014

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