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Individual Differences in Habitual Social Goals and Daily Well-Being: The Role of Age and Relationship Closeness


Nikitin, Jana; Freund, Alexandra M (2019). Individual Differences in Habitual Social Goals and Daily Well-Being: The Role of Age and Relationship Closeness. European Journal of Personality, 33(3):337-358.

Abstract

There is a robust evidence that social approach goals (i.e. approach of positive social outcomes) have positive consequences and social avoidance goals (i.e. avoidance of negative social outcomes) have negative consequences for subjective well‐being in young adulthood. Little is known about individual differences in social goals in later life. The current diary study with young (n = 212), middle‐aged (n = 232), and older adults (n = 229) tested––and supported––the hypotheses that age (i) differentially predicts the strength of habitual approach and avoidance goals in close and peripheral relationships and (ii) moderates the relation of approach and avoidance goals in peripheral (but not close) relationships and daily outcomes (subjective well‐being, subjective health, and satisfaction with social encounters). Older adults compared to younger adults reported higher levels of avoidance goals in peripheral (but not close) relationships. Younger adults who reported high levels of approach goals and older adults who reported high levels of avoidance goals in peripheral relationships experienced the most positive daily outcomes. In addition, social goals moderated some of the associations between (positive and negative) daily interactions and daily outcomes. Results underscore the importance of the closeness of social partners for individual differences in social goals across adulthood.

Abstract

There is a robust evidence that social approach goals (i.e. approach of positive social outcomes) have positive consequences and social avoidance goals (i.e. avoidance of negative social outcomes) have negative consequences for subjective well‐being in young adulthood. Little is known about individual differences in social goals in later life. The current diary study with young (n = 212), middle‐aged (n = 232), and older adults (n = 229) tested––and supported––the hypotheses that age (i) differentially predicts the strength of habitual approach and avoidance goals in close and peripheral relationships and (ii) moderates the relation of approach and avoidance goals in peripheral (but not close) relationships and daily outcomes (subjective well‐being, subjective health, and satisfaction with social encounters). Older adults compared to younger adults reported higher levels of avoidance goals in peripheral (but not close) relationships. Younger adults who reported high levels of approach goals and older adults who reported high levels of avoidance goals in peripheral relationships experienced the most positive daily outcomes. In addition, social goals moderated some of the associations between (positive and negative) daily interactions and daily outcomes. Results underscore the importance of the closeness of social partners for individual differences in social goals across adulthood.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
08 Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Social Psychology
Language:English
Date:1 May 2019
Deposited On:09 Dec 2019 14:48
Last Modified:10 Dec 2019 08:55
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0890-2070
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/per.2190
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID100019_159399
  • : Project TitleWhy is social avoidance motivation detrimental to young but not older adults?
  • : FunderSuzanne and Hans Biäsch Foundation for the Promotion of Applied Psychology
  • : Grant ID2012/12
  • : Project TitleChanges in Adaptivity of Social Approach and Avoidance Behavior across Adulthood

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