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A New Psychosocial Variable in Mental Health Studies: Agency

Hasan Atak.

Abstract
The term agency has been defined as a sense of responsibility for one's life course, the belief that one is in control of one's decisions and is responsible for their outcomes, and the confidence that one will be able to overcome obstacles that impede one's progress along one's chosen life course. Agency is an upper psychological structure which consists of self-esteem, purpose in life, self-efficacy (ego strength), and internal locus of control. Literature offers quite different explanations for agency concept. The reason of this situation may be the attribution of different meanings to the concept by psychologists and sociologists. When considering the agency literature in Turkey and other countries, it can be said that the number of studies on agency subject is lower than the number of studies on other psychosocial study subjects. Agency should be taken into consideration as a psychosocial variable in the studies to be made in Turkey.

Key words: agency, personal agency, individualization, agentic personality



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