We examined whether those with more positive self-perceptions of aging (older individuals' beliefs about their own aging) report better functional health over an 18-year period than do those with more negative self-perceptions of aging. We found that those with more positive self-perceptions of aging in 1975 reported better functional health from 1977 to 1995, when we controlled for baseline measures of functional health, self-rated health, age, gender, race, and socioeconomic status. We also demonstrated that perceived control partially mediates the relationship between self-perceptions of aging and functioning. The sample consisted of 433 participants in the Ohio Longitudinal Study of Aging and Retirement, a community-based study of individuals aged 50 and older, who were interviewed in 6 waves. Our study suggests that the way in which individuals view their own aging affects their functional health.