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ERIC Number: EJ937205
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-0022-1465
The Life-Course Origins of Mastery among Older People
Pearlin, Leonard I.; Nguyen, Kim B.; Schieman, Scott; Milkie, Melissa A.
Journal of Health and Social Behavior, v48 n2 p164-179 Jun 2007
In this article, we aim to identify the sources of mastery--the understanding that individuals hold about their ability to control the circumstances of their lives. The sample for our inquiry was drawn from the Medicare beneficiary files of people 65 and older living in Washington, DC, and two adjoining Maryland counties. We find that past circumstances, particularly those reflecting status attainment and early exposure to intractable hardships, converge with stressors experienced in late life to influence elders' level of mastery. The impact of past conditions, however, does not necessarily directly affect the current mastery of older people. Instead, the effect of prior experiences on current mastery is mediated by what we refer to as life-course mastery: one's belief that one has directed and managed the trajectories that connect one's past to the present. Our analyses show that life-course mastery largely serves as the mediating channel through which individuals connect their past to their present. (Contains 3 tables, 1 figure, and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia; Maryland