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Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

Optimizing Personal Control in Health and Aging Contexts

by Brad Mossbarger, PhD 2 CE Credits

Historically the literature on personal control has highlighted its positive impact on a number of psychosocial outcomes, with the exertion of greater degrees of control generally being equated with positive results.  Recent research, however, has begun to challenge the notion of such a simplistic approach, pointing instead to a differentiation among various aspects of personal control and to specific personal and situational variables that make the implementation of control strategies more favorable.  This course traces the evolution of personal control from a relatively global construct to its more contemporary multidimensional conceptualization.  Further, reviews of the literature relevant to individualized applications of personal control strategies are provided and findings indicative of the utility of control adaptations in the face of aging and the advent of significant life and health events are discussed. 

Continuing education for this online course is offered through the following approvals:


  • HealthForum is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. HealthForum maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • HealthForum (ACE Provider #1156) is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. HealthForum maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: (6/20/2017 to 6/20/2020). Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 2 Clinical continuing education clock hours.
  • HealthForumOnline, LLC, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0355
  • HealthForum has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6216.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. HealthForum is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.


Course Sections/Outline:

  • Introduction
  • Personal Control: A Brief History of the Construct
  • Various Components of Control and Their Implications
  • Primary vs. Secondary Control
  • Potential Outcomes
  • Summary
  • References


Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Define the 3 underlying constructs of personal control as it relates to health and aging from a theory- and evidence-based perspective.
  • Differentiate between primary and secondary control strategies in the illness context.
  • Recognize the evidence-based benefits of personal control in the management of 3 common conditions (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, chronic pain) and how this might translate into other disease models in the context of promoting healthy aging.