Life goals, satisfaction, and self-rated health: preliminary findings.
Several recent studies have suggested that a better understanding of health and psychological well-being in later life requires insights into the life goals and motivations of research participants. However, goal importance has not been examined separately from goal achievement. This distinction is important for a more fine-grained analysis of how goals may relate to adaptive outcomes among older adults. Data from surviving respondents of the Duke Second Longitudinal Study were analyzed in order to replicate and extend results from previous studies. Interestingly, a differential pattern of predictors was found for health and satisfaction. The rated importance of goals accounted for a significant portion of the variance in health, but was not predictive of satisfaction, whereas rated achievement of goals was predictive of health and satisfaction. Results are discussed in relation to theories of motivation in later life.
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