Subjective control and health among mexican-origin elders in mexico and the united states: Structural considerations in comparative research

Ronald J. Angel, Jacqueline L. Angel, Terrence Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives This study examines the joint impact of psychological and structural factors on Mexican and Mexican American elders' sense of personal control over important aspects of their lives and health in Mexico and the United States.Methods We employ the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS) and the Hispanic Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (H-EPESE) to explore patterns of association among structural factors, personal characteristics, indicators of material and physical vulnerability, and expressed locus of control.Results The results suggest that an older individual's sense of personal control over important aspects of his or her life, including health, reflects real material and social resources in addition to individual predispositions. In Mexico, only the most privileged segment of the population has health insurance, and coverage increases one's sense of personal control. In the United States, on the other hand, Medicare guarantees basic coverage to the vast majority of Mexican Americans over 65, reducing its impact on one's sense of control.Discussion Psychological characteristics affect older individuals' sense of personal control over aspects of their health, but the effects are mediated by the economic and health services context in which they are expressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-401
Number of pages12
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume64
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes

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Diagnostic Self Evaluation
comparative research
Mexico
Health
health
Research
Psychology
coverage
Insurance Coverage
Internal-External Control
Health Insurance
Medicare
Hispanic Americans
Population
Health Services
locus of control
Epidemiologic Studies
health insurance
Joints
Economics

Keywords

  • Health
  • Health Systems
  • Locus of control
  • Mexican American
  • Mexico
  • Poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Gerontology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Psychology

Cite this

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