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Life task participation and well-being: The importance of taking part in daily life.

ABSTRACT In this chapter, the authors describe a life-span perspective on well-being that posits that individuals' sustained participation in personally and culturally valued tasks that change across the life course enhances well-being, and in fact, such participation benefits individuals above and beyond the direct effects of both personal traits (e.g., extraversion)and tangible resources (e.g., wealth). The authors show that the type of participation matters, because the strength of the link between participation and well-being depends on the specific tasks on which individuals are working. Well-being may also, however, depend on the presence of various social, personal, and tangible resources that increase individuals' likelihood of participating in various tasks. The authors describe the role of these resources in keeping individuals vigilant about finding new ways to participate and thereby gain well-being, in facilitating intense participation, and in motivating continued participation. Finally, they show that because not only the opportunities for participation but also the value various subcultures place on specific types of tasks change across the life span, individuals need to be able to adapt to these changing opportunities in order to experience well-being. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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