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Approaching Sehnsucht (life longings) from a life-span perspective: the role of personal utopias in development


Scheibe, S; Freund, Alexandra M (2008). Approaching Sehnsucht (life longings) from a life-span perspective: the role of personal utopias in development. Research in Human Development, 5(2):121-133.

Abstract

Sehnsucht (life longings) refers to thoughts and feelings about missing something in life that would make it complete or perfect. Using a life-span-theoretical approach, we posit that life longings have important developmental functions, including giving directionality for life planning and helping to cope with loss and important, yet unattainable wishes by pursuing them in one's imagination. This article presents a life-span-theoretical conceptualization of Sehnsucht recently introduced by Paul B. Baltes and colleagues (Baltes, in press; Scheibe, Freund, & Baltes, 2008) and reviews first empirical research conducted in this framework. The review addresses lay conceptions of Sehnsucht and the construct's distinction from already existing, well-articulated constructs (goals, regrets, ideal self), the functions of life longings for development, and age-related differences across adulthood.

Abstract

Sehnsucht (life longings) refers to thoughts and feelings about missing something in life that would make it complete or perfect. Using a life-span-theoretical approach, we posit that life longings have important developmental functions, including giving directionality for life planning and helping to cope with loss and important, yet unattainable wishes by pursuing them in one's imagination. This article presents a life-span-theoretical conceptualization of Sehnsucht recently introduced by Paul B. Baltes and colleagues (Baltes, in press; Scheibe, Freund, & Baltes, 2008) and reviews first empirical research conducted in this framework. The review addresses lay conceptions of Sehnsucht and the construct's distinction from already existing, well-articulated constructs (goals, regrets, ideal self), the functions of life longings for development, and age-related differences across adulthood.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:April 2008
Deposited On:06 Mar 2009 11:23
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:08
Publisher:Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN:1542-7609
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/15427600802034868

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