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Perceived trajectories of life satisfaction across past, present, and future: profiles and correlates of subjective change in young, middle-aged, and older adults


Röcke, C; Lachman, M E (2008). Perceived trajectories of life satisfaction across past, present, and future: profiles and correlates of subjective change in young, middle-aged, and older adults. Psychology and Aging, 23(4):833-847.

Abstract

Despite longitudinal stability in subjective well-being across adulthood, many adults perceive self-related change. This study was aimed at identifying differential subjective change profiles in life satisfaction rated for the present, the past, and the future and to examine their associations with sociodemographic variables and changes in adaptive functioning. The authors addressed this aim using Midlife in the United States survey data from 2 measurement occasions (N=3,631; age at Time 1: 24-75). A cluster analysis was used to identify a continuous high subgroup and an incremental subgroup at both occasions. A 3rd subgroup was labeled present low at Time 1 and decremental at Time 2. Although the average pattern across individual variables suggested stability, up to 60% of individuals fit profiles depicting perceived change, and some individuals changed subgroup membership over time. After controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, subgroups differed in level and change in biopsychosocial measures of adaptive functioning, with sense of control and social relationship quality showing stronger associations than personality and physical health. Results indicate that a person-centered approach to assessing life satisfaction provides a rich and dynamic picture of individual differences in subjective well-being across the adult life span.

Abstract

Despite longitudinal stability in subjective well-being across adulthood, many adults perceive self-related change. This study was aimed at identifying differential subjective change profiles in life satisfaction rated for the present, the past, and the future and to examine their associations with sociodemographic variables and changes in adaptive functioning. The authors addressed this aim using Midlife in the United States survey data from 2 measurement occasions (N=3,631; age at Time 1: 24-75). A cluster analysis was used to identify a continuous high subgroup and an incremental subgroup at both occasions. A 3rd subgroup was labeled present low at Time 1 and decremental at Time 2. Although the average pattern across individual variables suggested stability, up to 60% of individuals fit profiles depicting perceived change, and some individuals changed subgroup membership over time. After controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, subgroups differed in level and change in biopsychosocial measures of adaptive functioning, with sense of control and social relationship quality showing stronger associations than personality and physical health. Results indicate that a person-centered approach to assessing life satisfaction provides a rich and dynamic picture of individual differences in subjective well-being across the adult life span.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:December 2008
Deposited On:05 Mar 2009 15:32
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:09
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN:0882-7974
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1037/a0013680
PubMed ID:19140654

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