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Titel: Motives, personal goals, and life satisfaction in old age: First results from the Munich Twin Study (GOLD)
Autor(en): Halisch, Frank
Geppert, Ulrich
Erscheinungsdatum: 2001
Zusammenfassung: The present study is part of the Munich longitudinal twin study GOLD (Genetic Oriented Life Span Study on Differential Development) and is concerned with motivational determinants of life satisfaction and subjective well-being in old age. Participants were 280 males (n=94) and females (n=186) between 65 and 85 years of age. The main proposition is that life satisfaction in old age is a function of the degree to which a person's motives, goals, and everyday activities are matched. Motives for Achievement, Affiliation and Power were assessed by a projective measure (TAT = "implicit motives") as well as by a questionnaire measure (Personality Research Form, PRF, = "self-attributed motives"). The participants indicated two personal goals most important to them and two activities they prefer to enact during a daily routine. Goals were rated by the participants according to commitment, attainability, and success probability. Additionally, goals and activities were evaluated according to their motive-specific contents by the participants themselves as well as by expert raters. The present report is confined to self-attributed motives and self-report measures. For the assessment of life satisfaction and emotional well-being three self-report inventories were employed. Results can be summarized as follows: (1) There is a considerable coherency between self-attributed motives on the one hand and personal goals and everyday activities on the other hand. The moderate size of correlations, however, evidences that motives are not necessarily in thematic line with goals and activities; there is enough room for other determinants to come into play. (2) Goals are characterized by motivational contents (primarily affiliation) to a higher degree than everyday activities which, to a considerable amount, are leisure-oriented. (3) Life satisfaction and emotional well-being is generally rather positive in our sample and is significantly affected by the attainability and probability of personal goals; an attainability x commitment interaction shows that this holds especially for highly committed participants. (4) Males indicate higher grades of emotional well-being. This can be attributed to their goal setting strategies: males, compared with females, have personal goals that they judge themselves as more attainable and probable. (5) Life satisfaction is, to a considerable extent, also affected by motivation-related recent life events: Primarily events that are negatively related to affiliation and power, that is, the absence of affilia-tion-related events and - for males only - of power-related events, lowered the participants' mood. These results clearly evidence the contribution of motivational determinants in explaining life satisfaction and subjective well-being in old age.
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