eCite Digital Repository

Regional resources buffer the impact of functional limitations on perceived autonomy in older adults with multiple illnesses


Schuz, B and Westland, JN and Wurm, S and Tesch-Romer, C and Wolff, JK and Warner, JK and Schwarzer, R, Regional resources buffer the impact of functional limitations on perceived autonomy in older adults with multiple illnesses, Psychology and Aging, 31, (2) pp. 139-148. ISSN 0882-7974 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2015 American Psychological Association

DOI: doi:10.1037/pag0000064


Retaining perceptions of autonomy is a key component of successful aging. Perceived autonomy refers to the capacity to make and enact self-directed decisions. These perceptions are often threatened in older adults with multiple illnesses, when functional limitations resulting from these illnesses impede the enactment of self-directed decisions. Regional resources (in Germany specifically at the level of administrative districts) might counteract these impediments of autonomy. Economically stronger districts can provide more-concrete support resources for older adults, buffering the negative effect of functional limitations on self-perceived autonomy. This study assessed participants aged over 65 with 2 or more chronic conditions. In total, n = 287 provided data (Mage = 73.3, SD = 5.07), and n = 97 were women. Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita was used as a proxy measure of administrative district wealth in Germany. Hierarchical multilevel regression analyses with cross-level interactions were conducted. Results suggest that the detrimental effect of functional limitations on perceived autonomy is less pronounced for participants residing in higher GDP districts. Conversely, for participants in lower GDP districts, the effect is exacerbated. This finding suggests that districts with greater financial resources might be better able to invest in supports that promote and facilitate autonomy and, thus, provide a buffer against threats to individual perceived autonomy.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:autonomy, multimorbidity, older adults, healthcare, multiple illnesses, contextual resources, administrative districts, functional limitations
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Health psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and health
UTAS Author:Schuz, B (Dr Benjamin Schuez)
ID Code:107290
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2016-03-09
Last Modified:2018-03-21

Repository Staff Only: item control page