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A closer look at life goals across adulthood: Applying a developmental perspective to content, dynamics, and outcomes of goal importance and goal attainability

Bühler, Janina Larissa and Weidmann, Rebekka and Nikitin, Jana and Grob, Alexander. (2019) A closer look at life goals across adulthood: Applying a developmental perspective to content, dynamics, and outcomes of goal importance and goal attainability. European journal of personality, 33 (3). pp. 359-384.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/71283/

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Abstract

It is well established that goals energize and direct behaviour across the lifespan. To better understand how goals are embedded in people's lives across adulthood, the present research examined life goals' content (health, personal growth, prosocial engagement, social relations, status, work), dynamics (interplay between goal importance and goal attainability), and outcomes (subjective well-being) from a developmental perspective. We argue that people rate those goals as important and attainable that enable them to master developmental tasks, that they adapt their goals to personal capacities, and that goals predict subjective well-being after 2 and 4 years. The sample included 973 individuals (18-92 years old, M = 43.00 years) of whom 637 participated 2 years later and 573 participated 4 years later. Goal importance and well-being were assessed at all occasions and goal attainability at the first two occasions. Results indicated that age was negatively associated with importance and attainability of personalgrowth, status, and work goals but positively associated with importance and attainability of prosocial-engagement goals. The association between goal importance and attainability was largely bidirectional over time; and goal attainability, rather than goal importance, was positively linked to later well-being. Implications of these findings are discussed in light of adult lifespan development.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Forschungsbereich Persönlichkeits- und Entwicklungspsychologie > Entwicklungs- und Persönlichkeitspsychologie (Nikitin)
UniBasel Contributors:Nikitin, Jana
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:John Wiley
ISSN:0890-2070
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:12 Sep 2019 14:05
Deposited On:12 Sep 2019 14:05

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