The relationship between personal control and coping effectiveness was studied in a convenience sample of 104 hospitalized spinal cord injured males. Control was conceptualized as participants' preference to control, their generalized expectation for control, and their perception of options to control. Depression was used as an indicator of level of coping effectiveness. Demographic data and participants' trait anxiety were included as possible correlates of the variables of interest. For those who preferred to control, perceived options to do so were negatively related to levels of depression regardless of locus of control orientation. Depression scores were unrelated to expected or perceived control for those without such a preference. Findings indicate that the significance of having control is an individualized matter. Detailed assessments may need to be devised if patients are to obtain maximum benefit from participating in their own care.