The effect of sense of coherence on perceived health status : the role of life-changing events /

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Alexandre, Renata
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Middle Tennessee State University
Aaron Antonovsky (1987) theorized that individuals who had been raised with support and encouragement and exposed to appropriate life experiences would develop greater coping skills, thereby perceiving their own health status positively. His theoretical construct is the "Sense of Coherence" (SOC). Antonovsky postulated that life changing events moderated the relationship between SOC and perception of health status. The primary purpose of this study was to estimate the effect of SOC on perception of health status in a sample of adults in the United States aged 40 and older. Other factors considered included age, gender, occupation, marital status, socioeconomic status, and presence of chronic disease. Instrumentation included the Orientation to Life Questionnaire to measure SOC, the Perceived Quality of Life Questionnaire to measure perceived quality of life, and a Demographic Questionnaire to measure demographics and life changing events.
Hierarchical regression analysis was used to test the research hypothesis and answer the research question. The contribution of each variable was assessed by analyzing R2. The fit of the regression models was assessed using the Levene's Statistic and the Kolmogorov-Smirnov Test. The sample size used in these analyses was 261.
The parsimonious model resulting from hierarchical regression found that SOC was positively and strongly related to perception of health status. The experience of trauma, the experience of disability, the impact of disability, and the impact of the death of someone close were also related to perception of health status. The residuals in these analyses were normally distributed and the homoscedasticity assumption was confirmed.
Researchers concluded that other avenues of health promotion could be implemented in light of these findings. Health professionals could teach parents positive parenting practices, providing children with positive learning experiences. Addressing weaknesses in services for the disabled through programs raising awareness of the issues surrounding disability could be initiated. Antonovsky (1987) highlights several processes that can empower maturing individuals. Current literature suggests other possible methods for encouraging development of skills that will aid individuals throughout their lives (Feldt, Kokko, Kinnunen & Pulkkinen, 2005; Read, Aunola, Feldt, Leinonen & Ruoppila, 2005;. Veenstra, Mourn & Roysamb, 2005).
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