In this article we present a temporal model for understanding the relations between perceived control and posttraumatic distress. Although perceived control generally is seen as adaptive, a review of the research using a temporal framework reveals that the relations between different types of control and distress vary greatly. Specifically, present and future control tend to be associated with better adjustment and fewer posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, whereas past control tends to be unrelated to distress or associated with more distress. Following this review, we outline an agenda for future research on past, future, and present control and posttraumatic distress using our temporal framework and discuss general methodological issues that need to be addressed in future research.
- Perceived control