Framing the construct of life satisfaction in terms of older adults' personal goals.

B. D. Rapkin, K. Fischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Older adults' life satisfaction can be better understood in light of their personal goals. This study of 179 elders examined (a) how goals correlate with satisfaction, (b) whether elders maintain satisfaction by accommodating goals to past losses, and (c) how correlations between satisfaction and key predictors differ among groups with different goals. Satisfaction was related positively to social maintenance and energetic life-style goals and negatively to concerns for improvement, disengagement, stability, and reduced activity. Past losses were correlated with current goals but not with satisfaction, consistent with the notion of accommodation. A cluster analysis identified 5 patterns of goals: high demand, age prescribed, self-focused, socially engaged, and low demand. Correlations between satisfaction and other predictors differed by cluster, suggesting that the determinants of elders' satisfaction depend on personal goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-149
Number of pages12
JournalPsychology and aging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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