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Maintaining autonomy despite multimorbidity: self-efficacy and the two faces of social support
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-17, 09:50 authored by Warner, LM, Ziegelmann, JP, Benjamin SchuezBenjamin Schuez, Wurm, S, Tesch-Romer, C, Schwarzer, R
Abstract Multimorbidity—the co-occurrence of multiple illnesses—is a frequent condition in older adults and poses serious threats to autonomy. In order to identify resources for autonomy despite multimorbidity, our longitudinal study tested main and interaction effects of personal and social resources (self-efficacy and social support) on maintaining autonomy. Three hundred and nine individuals (aged 65–85 years) with multiple illnesses completed measures of self-efficacy beliefs, received instrumental social support and perceptions of autonomy. Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Cross-sectionally, individuals with lower perceptions of autonomy received more support from their networks. Longitudinally, the relation of received support with autonomy was moderated by self-efficacy: Simple slopes analyses showed that social support compensated for lower levels of self-efficacy, whereas in individuals with higher self-efficacy the resources interfered. Receiving social support bolstered autonomy in lower self-efficacious individuals, but in highly self-efficacious individuals support threatened autonomy. This has implications for both theory and practice, as it suggests differential effects of social resources depending on personal resources.
Publication titleEuropean Journal of Aging
Department/SchoolSchool of Psychological Sciences
Place of publicationGermany
Rights statementCopyright 2011 Springer-Verlag.