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Intrinsic aspirations and personal meaning across adulthood: Conceptual interrelations and age/sex differences

Intrinsic aspirations and personal meaning across adulthood: Conceptual interrelations and age/sex differences

Morgan, Jessica and Robinson, Oliver (2012) Intrinsic aspirations and personal meaning across adulthood: Conceptual interrelations and age/sex differences. Developmental Psychology, 49 (5). pp. 999-1010. ISSN 0012-1649 (Print), 1939-0599 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1037/a0029237)

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Abstract

The present study examined adult age and sex differences in self-reported aspirations and personal meaning. Young, midlife, and older adults (N = 2,557) from the United Kingdom or United States completed an online survey of their aspiration striving, aspiration importance, and personal meaning (subscales of Purposeful Life, Exciting Life, Accomplished Life, Principled Life, Valued Life). Predictions were made in line with humanistic and gerontology theories, which suggest that sources of personal meaning consolidate across the life span toward intrinsically motivated pursuits. Findings supported these predictions, showing that although there was a tendency for aspirations to decline with age, the proportion of intrinsically motivated aspirations increased, as did total meaning and the interrelationship between meaning and intrinsic aspirations. There were also gender differences in personal meaning and aspirations, which suggested a more pronounced midlife dip in intrinsic and purposive goal striving for men, and a greater focus on intrinsic aspirations in women. Developmental and cohort interpretations of these findings and directions for further research are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Available online 16 July 2012. [2] Published in Developmental Psychology, Vol 49(5), May 2013.
Uncontrolled Keywords: aspirations, self-determination theory, sex differences, meaning in life, adult development age differences
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Health & Social Care
School of Health & Social Care > Department of Psychology & Counselling
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:21
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/8566

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