Self-esteem and locus of control as modifiers of the relationship between objective health and subjective health in the elderly : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University
An investigation was undertaken to explore the function of self esteem and locus of control as possible moderators of the relationship between objective health and subjective assessments of health in the elderly. Subjects were 102 individuals, aged 60 to 94 years, drawn from seven preselected residences for the elderly, in two communities. Each subject was interviewed and measures of objective health, subjective health, personality and well-being were taken as well as demographic information. The hypothesis predicted that the personality variables, self-esteem and locus of control would each interact with objective health, to moderate between objective health and subjective assessments of health. The results of analyses revealed that neither self esteem nor locus of control consistently interacted with objective health to predict subjective assessments of health. The main effects of self-esteem and objective health were, however, found to demonstrate strong and independent relationships to subjective assessments of health. Of the two types of variables objective health was found to have the strongest relationship to subjective assessments of health. This finding is in accord with previous research. Implications of the relationship between both variables and subjective health were discussed, as were methodological implications of the study.