Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Family Environment

First Advisor

Mary Winter


The objective of this research is to examine the relationship between self-assessment of control over life, life satisfaction, and planning activity among elderly Iowans. Planning activity is defined as having plans for a time when the current dwelling would not be suitable or when the individual needed care in case of a long-term illness. Three models are developed. They differ in one of the independent variables. Current control over life is used in one, present control deficit, and future control deficit in the other two. The other independent variables are life satisfaction, age, a set household size-marital status dummy variables, level of physical assistance needed, self-assessed health, income, and sex of the respondent. The dependent variable is the presence or absence of plans. The sample has 273 individuals aged 60 and over;Logistic regressions are used for the analysis. The results indicate that fewer than one-fifth of the respondents have any plans for health problems. The significant predictors of the presence of plans are age, household income, level of physical assistance needed, and life satisfaction. Those individuals who have plans are the ones who are older, have higher incomes, need less physical assistance, and report lower levels of life satisfaction. An interaction is developed based on the control-over-life variables. Results indicate that the presence of plans is associated with having complete control now but anticipating a loss. The three control-over-life variables were used to develop a typology of the respondents. Those individuals reporting complete control over their lives now but who anticipate the loss of control have the highest percentage of planners.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Maria de Lourdes Rubio



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

75 pages