Individual differences in habitual social goals and daily well-being: The role of age and relationship closeness

TitleIndividual differences in habitual social goals and daily well-being: The role of age and relationship closeness
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsNikitin, J, Freund, AM
JournalEuropean Journal of Personality
Volume33
Number3
Pagination337–358
ISSN1099-0984
Keywordsage differences, approach goals, avoidance goals, daily well-being, habitual social goals, relationship closeness, www2
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. © 2019 European Association of Personality Psychology

URLhttps://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/per.2190
DOI10.1002/per.2190