Journal of Adult Development

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Online ISSN: 1573-3440
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Psychological coping and behavioral adjustment as vital elements of resilience. Note This schematic shows how we distinguish psychological coping and behavioral adjustment as vital elements of resilience and illustrates which cognitive factor(s) (both WM and HP, or WM only) we evaluate as potential protective predictor(s) of the outcome variables pertaining to these elements of resilience. WM Working memory; HP habit propensity
Timing and overview of the current study. Note This figure shows the timing of the current study (T1) with respect to the original study (T0) and the COVID-19 related events and guidelines in the Netherlands. Questionnaires and tasks of the original study from which data were included in the current study are also shown, with the numbers in subscript depicting the corresponding lab session. GDS-15 Geriatric Depression Scale-15; O-SPAN Operation Span; NEO-FFI NEO Five-Factor Inventory; HP Habit Propensity; SRM-5 Social Rhythm Metric-5; WEMWBS Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale; PSS Perceived Stress Scale; LS Loneliness Scale; SRBAI Self-reported Behavioral Automaticity Index. aParticipants also reported on the perceived change in the thoughts and feelings as described in the WEMWBS, PSS, and LS
Relationship between self-reported automaticity for hand washing and habit propensity among individuals with different WM capacity. Note This figure illustrates the relationship between self-reported behavioral automaticity scores for hand washing and habit propensity among individuals with low (circle, solid line) and high (triangle, dashed line) WM capacity
Article
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health, well-being, and behavior is likely influenced by individual characteristics that determine one's capacity for resilience. In this exploratory study, we examined whether individual differences in working memory (WM) capacity and habit propensity (HP), measured before the outbreak, could predict variation in subsequent psychological coping efficacy (as operationalized by measures of depression, mental well-being, perceived stress, and loneliness) and behavioral adjustment (by evaluating compliance and self-reported automaticity of four COVID-19 guidelines) among Dutch older adults (n = 36) during the pandemic (measured April 25 to May 6, 2020). While we found elevated levels of depression and emotional loneliness, overall mental well-being, and perceived stress were not affected by the pandemic. Contrary to our expectations, we found no robust evidence for a protective role of WM in predicting these outcomes, although our findings hint at a positive relationship with perceived change in mental well-being. Interestingly, WM and HP were found to affect the self-reported automaticity levels of adherence to behavioral COVID-19 guidelines (i.e., washing hands, physical distancing), where a strong HP appeared beneficial when deliberate resources were less available (e.g., low WM capacity). These novel and preliminary findings offer new potential avenues for investigating individual differences in resilience in times of major life events or challenges. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10804-022-09404-9.
 
The Reflections on Forgiveness Framework
Article
The present study uncovers how older adults have reported learning about forgiveness throughout the life course. We used a series of 22 semi-structured interviews to create a proposed model of how individuals report learning about forgiveness throughout the life course: The Reflections on Forgiveness Framework. Participants were predominantly female (N = 19), well educated, and non-Hispanic White (N = 22). We found that participants primarily learned about forgiveness via religion and life experiences. Life experiences occurred through participants’ own forgiveness experiences and witnessing others forgive. Time also played a role in these personal experiences, with forgiveness becoming more important, although some continued resentment persisted. Participants tended to dwell less on transgressions as they became older and personal characteristics shaped the role of forgiveness in participants’ lives, with both contributing to forgiveness being more important. This framework is useful for clinicians and in further understanding how forgiveness develops and occurs throughout the life course.
 
Article
Adolescence is a formative time in the development of self-concept, and negative self-concept predicts internalizing symptoms in later adulthood. This study examined the association between high school experiences and internalizing symptoms among emerging and early adults with learning disabilities (LD) and/or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In a sample of 1,163 employed U.S. adults (aged 18–40) with LD and/or ADHD, retrospective high school experiences were examined in relation to internalizing symptomatology in a hierarchical regression model that also included sociodemographic variables and those related to disability, employment, and postsecondary education. The present study found that high school experiences explained greater variance in internalizing symptomatology than any other factors, including employment and postsecondary experiences. Retrospective high school experiences (physical school victimization [ß = .14, p < .001], history of exclusionary discipline [ß = .18, p < .001], and low sense of school belonging [ß = –.11, p < .001]) were the only significant correlates of internalizing symptomatology in emerging and early adulthood besides being female (ß = –.13, p < .001) and the presence of comorbid ADHD and LD (ß = .15, p < .001). Present findings indicated that negative high school experiences and impressions are related to internalizing symptomatology into adulthood among individuals with LD and/or ADHD. With the goal of promoting positive life outcomes in adulthood, scholars and practitioners who serve this population may benefit from continued exploration of the association between high school experiences and later internalizing symptomatology. Implications for school prevention and therapeutic intervention are discussed.
 
Article
Several studies have highlighted a relationship between attachment and theory of mind (ToM) in childhood and in clinical populations. However, little is known about the link between attachment and ToM in the general adult population. The aim of this study was, therefore, to explore how differences in attachment styles influence ToM skills in a nonclinical population of young adults. 69 young adults performed the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test, Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition test (MASC), and an adult attachment Q-sort questionnaire. Findings revealed that dimensions of avoidant and ambivalent attachment were, respectively, related to undermentalizing and overmentalizing tendencies. Insecure participants performed significantly more poorly than secure ones on the MASC. More specifically, participants with an avoidant attachment style made significantly more responses classified as undermentalizing than those with a secure attachment style. A statistical trend was observed for the MASC no-ToM score (answer with complete lack of ToM or literal understanding), with lower scores for the insecure ambivalent group than for the secure group. These results suggest that the individuals with avoidant insecure attachment are more likely to under-attribute mental states to others, while those with ambivalent insecure attachment tend not to make attributions when the situation requires it. Implications for future research are discussed.
 
Article
Pandemic diseases have caused dramatic changes in people's lives throughout history. Today, the COVID-19 virus spreads rapidly and affects human beings around the globe. This study aimed to discover the coping strategies and post-traumatic growth (PTG) experiences of persons who were infected by the COVID-19 virus using the qualitative research method. The research involved 17 individuals, nine of whom were female. All had been diagnosed with COVID-19. Face-to-face and online interviews were conducted with participants. In the analysis of the data, the thematic analysis method was performed by developing themes and sub-themes. The created themes include coping strategies, existential growth, lessons learned from disease, new opportunities, and social growth. These themes indicated positive changes in the lives of persons who were infected by the COVID-19 virus after the COVID-19 disease. Findings and implications for the practice were discussed.
 
Unconstrained structural model for the U.S. and Chinese participants’ overparenting, family communication patterns, psychological needs satisfaction, environmental mastery, and psychological distress. Values are correlations and standardized regression coefficients for U.S./Chinese participants. *p < .05, ***p < .001
Constrained structural model for the U.S. and Chinese participants’ overparenting, family communication patterns, psychological needs satisfaction, environmental mastery, and psychological distress. Values are correlations and standardized regression coefficients. *p < .05., **p < .01., ***p < .001
Article
According to self-determination theory, the satisfaction of basic psychological needs (i.e., autonomy, competence, relatedness) is essential for human mental health and flourishing. This process was hypothesized to be impeded by overparenting (a.k.a. helicopter parenting) and maladaptive family communication patterns. Therefore, a series of indirect effects was tested from overparenting and family communication patterns to emerging adults’ mental health and environmental mastery through psychological needs satisfaction. These effects were tested with data from 282 U.S. and 281 Chinese university student participants who completed an online questionnaire. The results showed that overparenting was positively associated with family conformity orientation and negatively associated with family conversation orientation. There were significant indirect effects from overparenting and family conversation orientation to emerging adults’ mental health (depression and anxiety) and environmental mastery. These findings point to hindered psychological needs satisfaction as a potential mechanism that links overparenting and family conversation orientation to emerging adults’ psychological distress or well-being.
 
Structural model of the associations of family cohesion, global and contingent self-esteem, and test anxiety. N = 470 Standardized beta coefficients and their standard errors (in parentheses) are presented in the figure. For clarity of presentation, nonsignificant direct paths (p > .05) between family cohesion and test anxiety dimensions are not shown. GSE Global self-esteem, CSE Contingent self-esteem, GW General worry, FU Freezing up, FF Fear of failure
Article
The aim of this study is to investigate the importance of family cohesion and self-esteem regarding test anxiety among emerging adults. The study’s hypothesis is that cohesion experienced in a university student’s family of origin predicts test anxiety. The mediating role of self-esteem was tested considering both global self-esteem and contingent self-esteem based on one’s perceived competence. The study also examines whether these associations differ across groups based on gender or residential status. The research questions were investigated using students’ self-reported measures of test anxiety, global self-esteem, contingent self-esteem, and family cohesion. The results, based on data gathered from 487 university students, revealed that global self-esteem was a negative predictor of test anxiety and contingent self-esteem was a positive predictor of test anxiety. These findings indicate that the level and source of self-esteem must be considered regarding test anxiety. Further, adaptive family cohesion impacted test anxiety by increasing global self-esteem and decreasing contingent self-esteem. Although these indirect associations were rather weak, they highlight the impact of the family of origin during emerging adulthood. The pattern of interrelations was similar among men and women, as well as among those living together or apart from their family of origin.
 
Proposed conceptual model. PROM promotion-focus orientation, PREV prevention-focus orientation, FWE family-to-work enrichment, FWC family-to-work conflict, JS job satisfaction, MAR marital adjustment. Positive affect (PA) and negative affect (NA) as covariates not depicted in the figure
SEM of the proposed ultimate research model (i.e., Model 3). PROM promotion-focus orientation, PREV prevention-focus orientation, FWE family-to-work enrichment, FWC family-to-work conflict, JS job satisfaction, MAR marital adjustment. Positive affect (PA) and negative affect (NA) as covariates not depicted in the figure. Dashed lines are non-significant paths. Solid lines are significant paths with **p < 0.01;***p < 0.001
Article
Regulatory focus theory (RFT; Higgins, 1997) can be useful in studying working adults’ goal-pursuing strategies for family and work success (e.g., marital adjustment and job satisfaction). We tested core hypotheses from RFT in a sample (N = 227) of married immigrants living and working in the United States. Confirmatory factor analyses supported the measurement model, and structural equation modeling was used to test study hypotheses. Results supported nearly all the RFT-derived hypotheses. Specifically, a promotion-focus orientation was more strongly associated with adults’ life success than a prevention-focus orientation. A promotion-focused orientation was solely associated with family-to-work enrichment, whereas a prevention-focused orientation was solely associated with family-to-work conflict. Finally, as expected, family-to-work enrichment mediated the association of promotion-focused orientation with job satisfaction. The overall pattern of results suggests RFT has strong potential for understanding adults’ success in their work and family lives, thereby providing a long-needed integrative theory for the multidisciplinary literature.
 
The proposed moderated mediation model
Results of the mediation model. ***p < 0.001
Simple slopes in high and low levels of meaning in life. Low meaning in life = − 1, High meaning in life = 1
Article
Although research has demonstrated that childhood maltreatment is a distal factor for suicide risk, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. This study aims to test whether psychache mediates the relationship between college students’ recalled childhood maltreatment and suicide risk and whether meaning in life moderates the indirect path. Participants were recruited by a convenient sampling method and data was collected via an online survey in this cross-sectional study. A total of 767 Chinese college students (aged 18–24) filled out self-report questionnaires regarding demographic information, childhood maltreatment, psychache, meaning in life, and suicide risk. Results showed that (a) recalled childhood maltreatment was positively associated with suicide risk, (b) psychache partially mediated the association between recalled childhood maltreatment and suicide risk, and (c) meaning in life moderated the association between psychache and suicide risk. The effect of psychache on suicide risk was weaker in college students with higher levels of meaning in life. Findings highlight the significance to consider those risk and protective factors when evaluating suicide risk and developing suicide prevention and intervention strategies.
 
Article
The current paper explores adult friendship and its relation to satisfaction with life and loneliness during established adulthood and midlife. The sample (n = 124) consisted of 59 established adults (30–45 years) and 65 midlifers (46–65 years), with the majority of participants characterized as White, middle-income, and female. Participants completed the Network of Relationships-BSV scale (Furman and Buhrmester, International Journal of Behavioral Development 33:470–478, 2009) to measure friendship quality, the Satisfaction with Life Scale (Diener et al., Journal of Personality Assessment 49:71–75, 1985) to measure one’s global sense of life satisfaction, and the UCLA Loneliness Scale (Russell, Journal of Personality Assessment 66:20–40, 1996) to measure participants’ level of loneliness. Results suggest that friendship plays a more central part in the lives of those in midlife compared to those in established adulthood and that loneliness is higher in established adulthood than in midlife. There were no significant differences in satisfaction with life for the two groups. Implications of the findings are discussed with regard to the middle adult years as two distinct age frames.
 
Main Effect Results for Moderate Intensity Physical Activity (PA) Intentions. Note: Error bars indicate standard error
Interaction Effect Results for Overall Aging Anxiety (AA). Note: Error bars indicate standard error
Article
Physical activity (PA) promotion messages are typically framed in terms of the gains or losses associated with PA. However, the impact of gain and loss messages is affected by the message recipient’s understanding of the risks associated with PA. PA risk is reinforced by the representation of aging as a risk factor of physical decline. Messages that promote PA as a strategy to mitigate aging-related risks of physical decline may have unintended consequences for aging anxiety (AA); however, this association is unexamined. This experiment examined if aging-related risk information and/or message framing impact PA intention and AA. 253 participants completed a randomized set of tasks that exposed them to different levels of aging-related risk information (high vs. low risk) and framed PA messages (gain vs. loss), resulting in a 2 × 2 factorial between-groups design. Outcome variables were lifespan PA intentions and AA. High-risk aging information promoted PA intentions more than low-risk information. Loss-framed PA messages resulted in greater AA than gain-framed messages. Low-risk aging information increased AA when paired with loss-framed PA messages, and high-risk aging information increased AA when paired with gain-framed PA messages. Including aging-related risk information with PA messages increases lifespan PA intentions as well as AA. PA messages that do not include aging-related risk information, but focus on the consequences of inactivity with age, also increase AA. Thus, there appears to be a paradoxical trade-off between promoting lifespan PA intentions and inducing AA through high-risk and loss-framed PA promotion approaches.
 
Self-Expansive Psychedelic Use and Openness to Experience Moderated by Drug-Use Reflection/Integration. Below average (-1SD), average (M), and above average (+ 1SD) drug-use reflection/integration, respectively: 2.21, 3.65, and 5.00
Self-expansive psychedelic use and awe-proneness moderated by drug-use reflection/integration. Below average (-1SD), average (M), and above average (+ 1SD) drug-use reflection/integration, respectively: 2.21, 3.65, and 5.00
Self-Expansive Psychedelic Use and Personality Growth Moderated by Drug-Use Reflection/Integration. Below average (-1SD), average (M), and above average (+ 1SD) drug-use reflection/integration, respectively: 2.21, 3.65, and 5.00
Moderated-Mediation of Personality Adjustment Note: Significant coefficients (standardized) are shown in bold/solid. Non-significant coefficients are shown non-bold/dashed
Moderated-Mediation of Personality Growth. Significant coefficients (standardized) are shown in bold/solid. Non-significant coefficients are shown non-bold/dashed
Article
Recent studies implicate the use of psychedelic substances in the treatment of psychiatric conditions. However, this literature also suggests that the psychedelics may have utility in the promotion of positive adult development. Accordingly, this paper outlines a study exploring this premise. An online sample (n = 684) of psychedelic users and non-users (age range: 18–24 to 75–84; median = 25–34) was recruited. Conditional process analysis was used to assess whether the relationship between psychedelic use and two facets of adult development, adjustment and growth, would be mediated by openness to experience, awe-proneness, and mystical experiences, and whether these relationships would be moderated by drug-use reflection/integration. Results show that the direct relationship between psychedelic use and growth was moderated by drug-use reflection/integration. In addition, the indirect relationship between psychedelic use and adjustment was mediated through awe-proneness, while the indirect relationships between psychedelic use and growth were mediated via awe-proneness and openness to experience; drug-use reflection/integration moderated these mediated relationships. In addition, drug-use reflection/integration directly predicted openness, awe-proneness, and growth. These findings suggest that, when used with self-expansive intentions and actively reflected upon and integrated post use, psychedelics may augment positive adult development.
 
Perception of Men and Women as Equal, Different, and Equal-but-Different (in percentages)
Article
The paper examines gendered experiences of established adulthood with reference to role-related responsibilities in urban Indian families. In-depth interviews were conducted with 30 married adults aged between 35 and 45 years, from educated, high socioeconomic class families of Vadodara, India. The aim was to examine participants’ reasoning about similarities and differences in potentials of men and women; and gender differences in responsibilities. Qualitative analyses revealed that both men and women attributed equal potentials for both genders, in fulfilling a range of adult roles within and outside the family. All participants also agreed that even if responsibilities were ‘shared’, women’s involvement in different roles was much more intense than men’s. Women were critical of patriarchal norms that hindered participation in the workforce and led to role overload. However, they navigated diverse roles with increased efficiency and multitasking. Men, on the other hand, showed passive acceptance and reinforced traditional gender norms in spite of complete awareness of demands generated from a rapidly changing socioeconomic milieu. However, in what may seem like a push and pull between the two genders, decisions of balancing work and family were always contextualized and embedded in an ethos of maintaining strong social and familial networks, indicating a clear preference for doing what was in everyone’s best interest. Overall, results suggested that navigating traditional gender role expectations in marriage and parenthood, without compromising social and familial harmony, was a significant cultural marker of maturity in established adulthood in India.
 
Predicted probabilities of being married in 2016 by religious class in 2000 and gender
Predicted probabilities of being nonreligious (top) and doctrinally religious (bottom) in 2016 by marital status in 2000 and gender
Article
This investigation examined the relationship between religiosity and marriage across a period of life marked by the transition from emerging adulthood and established adulthood. While many studies have established a positive link between religiosity and marriage, little longitudinal research has been conducted to prospectively predict one from the other. Using data from 290 young adults participating in the Longitudinal Study of Generations in 2000 and 2016, we applied latent class analysis to identify three religious classes at both periods based on religious attendance, intensity, attitudes, spirituality, and beliefs. We then used these classes as leading predictors of later marriage and as outcomes predicted by earlier marriage. We found statistically significant relationships between stronger religiosity and greater likelihood of marriage and between marriage and stronger religiosity in the transition from emerging to established adulthood. Significantly larger effects in both directions were observed for men than for women. We conclude that while both religiosity and marriage have declined in the population, an increasingly narrow but distinctive subset of individuals simultaneously maintain traditional religious orientations and a proclivity to marry by established adulthood. Future research on this topic and implications for clergy are discussed.
 
Article
This investigation examined how religiosity in the period of life ranging from emerging to established adulthood is associated with mental health. To address this issue, we examined the relationship between multiple dimensions of religiosity among young-adult Gen-Xers and mental health (psychological well-being, depression, and self-esteem) over this important stage of adulthood. We selected 510 young-adults participating in the Longitudinal Study of Generations surveyed in 2000 (18–29 years), 2005 (23–34 years), and 2016 (34–45 years). Latent class analysis identified three latent religious classes across the three waves: nonreligious, strongly religious, and spiritual-but-not-religious. Young-adult Gen-Xers in the strongly religious class across the three measurements generally reported better mental health when they reached established adulthood than those in the nonreligious class. Mental health in established adulthood was not significantly different between strongly religious and spiritual-but-not-religious individuals. Findings suggest that religiosity may serve as an important resource for mental health in the transition to established adulthood. Implications are discussed in the context of declining religiosity in the US over recent decades.
 
Conceptual mediation models (Process Model 4) with various antecedents mediate the association between adulthood groups and preference and motivations for solitude
Article
The consequences of solitude depend on one’s preference and motivations for solitude, some of which correlate with high psychological risks (e.g., loneliness, depression) with others relating to low risk or benefits. When life is suffused with stress, people are used to escaping and seeking solitude time for restoration, which is especially true for established adults who are burdened with the heaviest care responsibilities and work stress. However, little is known about the development of preference and motivations for solitude in established adulthood. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the level of preference and motivations for solitude and their potential antecedents and consequences in established (aged 30–45) adulthood as compared to emerging (aged 18–29) and midlife adulthood (aged 46–64). We recruited 465 young to middle-aged adults from MTurk and an undergraduate class (Fall 2019). Preference and motivations for solitude were measured with the Preference for Solitude Scale and the Motivation for Solitude Scale-Short Form. Well-being and social measures were included as potential consequences and sociodemographic, psychological, and physical measures as potential antecedents. Results showed that both preference for solitude and controlled motivation peaked in established adulthood. Same as adjacent adulthood phases, in established adulthood (a) preference for solitude related to mildly compromised well-being, (b) controlled motivation was robustly associated with worse well-being, and (c) self-determined motivation was consistently associated with better well-being. Antecedences for preference and motivations for solitude showed distinctiveness for each adulthood phase. Future interventions on well-being should focus on controlled motivation for solitude and established adults.
 
Article
In the United States, established adulthood (ages 30–45) often represents the most intense and demanding years of adult life. During this time, most individuals settle into adult roles and responsibilities, negotiating the intersecting demands of work and family obligations. While discrete topics relevant to this period have been investigated by developmental scientists, the subjective experience of established adulthood as a whole remains largely overlooked. In the present study, we aim to provide the foundation for a more comprehensive and integrated understanding of established adulthood by interviewing participants (n = 127) aged 30–45 from across the United States about the nature of their current lived experience. In general, participants described the Experience of Established Adulthood as a time of establishing their adulthood, stability, changes in priorities, and shifting perceptions of time. They also noted a number of Responsibilities and Commitments, describing an increase in obligations, and feeling a “career and care crunch. Participants also reported experiencing Evolution, noting that they continued to grow and learn, explore their beliefs and values, and make course corrections as needed. Finally, participants described Actualization in terms of gained wisdom, self-understanding, self- confidence, and life satisfaction. Taken together, our results suggest that established adults in the USA face challenges and opportunities distinct from those faced during emerging adulthood or midlife.
 
Illustration of the interaction between attachment anxiety and alexithymia in predicting presence of meaning in life. High and low points are estimated at + 1 and − 1 standard deviations from the mean, respectively
Unstandardized coefficients (with standard errors) and indirect effects from conditional process analysis of early parental support on meaning in life, with mediation by attachment anxiety moderated by alexithymia. Boldface indicates significant indirect effects. *p < .05; **p < .01; ***p < .001
Article
The subjective experience of a sense of meaning in life is an important aspect of psychological well-being. Developmental experiences that contribute to attachment security or insecurity may shape individual differences in the capacity for meaning in life. Such relations may also be influenced by difficulties in emotional processing, such as alexithymia. The present study examined attachment anxiety and avoidance as mediators of the association between perceived parental emotional support during childhood and the presence of meaning in life, as well as the moderating role of alexithymia. A sample of 245 community members completed study assessments, and correlational and regression analyses were used to examine hypothesized parallel mediation and moderated mediation models. Attachment anxiety, but not attachment avoidance, was found to significantly mediate the association between early parental support and meaning in life. Conditional process analysis further indicated alexithymia to moderate this mediation pathway, with the mediating effect of attachment anxiety becoming stronger at lower levels of alexithymia. Thus, results indicated that positive perceptions of parental support were associated with attachment security, in the form of reduced attachment anxiety, which in turn was linked with greater meaning in life. Moreover, this pathway was strongest among individuals with relatively better emotional processing abilities, or lower alexithymia.
 
Percentages of adults reaching an identity in longitudinal studies from two laboratories, by age, gender, domain, and method (achievement or foreclosure). In the top two graphs, data on occupational and intimate relationship identities are from Fadjukoff et al. (2016a), whereas data on parent identity are from Fadjukoff et al. (2016b). Data in bottom graph are from Eriksson et al. (2020)
Article
Mehta et al. (Am Psychol 75:431–444, 2020) coined the term established adulthood to cover the age-range 30–45. Established adulthood comes after emerging adulthood (18–29), but before middle adulthood (45–65). There has been considerable theoretical and empirical work on emerging adulthood since Arnett (Am Psychol 55:469–480, 2000) proposed it, one important element being the five features model of psychological/phenomenological states accompanying emerging adulthood (Arnett Emerging adulthood: the winding road from the late teens through the twenties, Oxford University Press, 2004; Reifman et al. J Youth Dev 2:37, 2007a). Per the model, emerging adulthood is a time of (1) identity seeking, (2) open possibilities, (3) self-focus/responsibility for oneself, (4) stress/instability, and (5) feeling in-between adolescence and adulthood. Despite the richness of the five features approach, Mehta et al. did not extend it to established adulthood, focusing instead on practical challenges associated with careers, marriage/relationships, and parenting. The present theoretical review paper, therefore, extends and expands the five features model to established adulthood. Specifically, established adulthood should entail (1) solidifying identity, (2) somewhat diminishing sense of possibility in work/career and other domains, (3) focusing on others, (4) continuing stress, albeit in different domains from emerging adulthood, and (5) considering oneself an adult, although not necessarily fully wise. Although established adulthood emphasizes solidification, there remain aspirations and opportunities for new endeavors (e.g., becoming a grandparent or company head). Evidence from the literature supporting or not supporting these propositions is reviewed and future research directions are discussed.
 
Article
Self-realization or the path which involves the elaborate process of knowing oneself leads people to a meaningful and fulfilling life. The present study aims to examine how the COVID-19-led lockdown proved to be an opportunity for emerging adults to reflect on and eventually discover their true selves. This study particularly explores the factors that facilitated the self-realization process during the lockdown. An online survey was conducted on 1280 Indian university students. The age of participants ranged between 18 and 29 years. An eight-item scale was developed to measure self-realization during the lockdown, which was thereafter administered along with other study variables. The results showed that factors including family bonding, social comparison, self-image, and a positive orientation toward life help young adults in the process of self-realization. Furthermore, the participants who employed adaptive ways to cope with the COVID-19 stress reported higher levels of self-realization. The present study showed that the interaction of young adults with their significant others, solving their daily problems, and having a positive outlook toward themselves and the future, helped them during the COVID-19 imposed lockdown and led them on the path of self-realization. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10804-022-09413-8.
 
Article
Adaptive development through adulthood entails developmental progress within multiple domains of life, such as health, work, and family. Adult status within these life domains is often solidified during established adulthood (30–45 years of age). Developmental progress within these central life domains is reflected in high perceived control and satisfaction, which should coincide with improved well-being. To test this proposition, we examined how developmental progress in central life domains codevelops with well-being during established adulthood. Multilevel growth model analyses were conducted using data from the Midlife in the United States study (MIDUS I, II, and III) for participants who completed at least two study assessments when they were between the ages of 30 and 45 (n = 614). The results indicated that established adults reported high levels of domain progress in their work, romantic partner and child relationships, and health, as well as moderate levels of prosocial and financial domain progress. While overall levels of well-being declined during established adulthood, higher levels of and positive changes in domain progress were linked with improved well-being during established adulthood. With few exceptions, demographic characteristics (age, sex, education, and income) did not moderate these linkages. Cumulatively, the results suggest that established adulthood is a developmental stage during which individuals progress in central developmental domains of adulthood, with the extent of this progress coinciding with improved well-being.
 
Article
Using two waves of data from the Family Exchanges Study (2008 and 2013), this study examined changes in financial problems before and after the Great Recession and investigated the implications for adults’ depressive symptoms and relationship quality with parents. Participants in established adulthood (N = 170, age 30–46 in 2013) provided information about their financial difficulties and depressive symptoms, as well as negative relationship quality with each parent (parent–child tie; N = 316) at baseline and 5 years later. Results showed that a growing number of participants experienced financial problems between the two waves, rising from 16 to 72% of participants. Moreover, 14% of participants indicated continuing financial problems and 33% reported decreased income over the 5 year observation period. Financial problems at baseline, continuing financial problems across the observation period, and decreased income over time were associated with participants’ increased depressive symptoms, after controlling for their baseline depressive symptoms. Results from multilevel models also revealed that adult participants had more strained relationships with their parents if they experienced more financial problems at the follow-up interview. The harmful effect of financial problems on relationship quality with parents was partially explained by adult participants’ depressive symptoms. Findings of this study highlight the important role of financial hardship for persons in established adulthood and their intergenerational ties.
 
Hypothesized serial mediation model
The result of serial multiple mediational model analysis
Article
Although extant research demonstrates the negative impact of overparenting on child well-being, there remains a paucity of evidence on the effect of overparenting on the parents’ own well-being. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of overparenting on parental well-being, and to explore the mechanisms through which overparenting influences the well-being of working mothers, particularly among established adults. Thus, we examined the serial mediation effects of perceived stress and family-to-work conflict (FWC) in overparenting and well-being linkage. With this aim, the data were collected from working mothers (N = 258) aged between 30 and 45, a period of in their lifespan generally characterized by efforts devoted to career and care. Via serial mediation analyses, the findings postulate that (a) overparenting relates to the well-being and perceived stress of working mothers, (b) perceived stress (both individually and jointly with FWC) mediates the relationship between overparenting and well-being, and (c) perceived stress and FWC serially mediate the association between overparenting and well-being. The findings provide evidence related to the well-being experiences of established adulthood women in struggling their career-and care crunch from a perspective of overparenting, stress, and family-to-work conflict.
 
Article
Erikson (Identity: Youth and crisis, W.W. Norton & Company, 1968) theorized identity and generativity as predominant personality developmental tasks in adolescence and midlife (respectively). However, existing literature reveals that not only can both constructs be equally prominent for midlife women (Newton and Stewart, Psychology of Women Quarterly 34:75–84, 2010), they are also dynamically inter-related (Kroger, Whitbourne (ed), Encyclopedia of adulthood and aging, Wiley-Blackwell, 2016), although how, specifically, these two constructs are related, and what role culture and activism might play in their expression are both less well-known. The present study examined middle-aged female activists’ expressions of identity in relation to generativity across two cultural contexts. Ten interview transcripts from the Global Feminisms Project (Institute for Research on Women and Gender (2002) Global Feminisms Project. Retrieved from https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/globalfeminisms/) provided by five Chinese and five American middle-aged female activists were examined. Transcript narratives were coded for themes of identity and generativity using a coding scheme based on Erikson’s writings. Findings showed that female activists in both cultural contexts integrated identity and generativity by expressing themes that consisted of both constructs. However, Chinese women activists expressed their identity by integrating generativity more so than their American counterparts. These results underscore identity and generativity as inter-related constructs that overlap among middle-aged women, as well as cultural variations both within and between groups.
 
Trajectories of depressive symptoms across the graduation transition
Article
How well emerging adults adapt to transitions, like entering or graduating from post-secondary education, may depend on individual differences. Emotional wellbeing within post-secondary education contexts has been studied, but little research has examined patterns of change after graduation. A diverse sample of emerging adults in their final year of university (N = 159; Mage = 23.22) were surveyed at four time points starting prior to and then across the year after graduation. Most participants (58%) showed stable, low depressive symptoms, a small percentage (9%) decreased in depressive symptoms, and a sizeable group (32%) increased in depressive symptoms. Low or decreasing depressive symptoms were associated with higher baseline optimism and grit and lower neuroticism and with qualitative accounts of willingness to learn from setbacks, self-efficacy, and gratitude for the university experience. Mixed-methods results highlight the challenges and role of self-regulatory strengths for adjustment at this juncture.
 
Article
Classic lifespan developmental theory describes emerging adulthood and the transition to adulthood as important periods for thinking about one’s future life trajectory. Today, youth are facing far-reaching changes to daily life due to COVID-19. This may have negative effects on their future outlook, and the extent of such effects may be related to personality. This study examined emerging adults’ (N = 195, Mage = 20.58, SD = 3.98) multidimensional personality profiles in relation to the extent that they hold a positive outlook on their future at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Quantitative and brief narrative measures of future outlook were collected. Hierarchical cluster analysis and Latent Profile Analysis revealed two clear personality profiles, labeled Reflectors (n = 106) and Forgers (n = 89). Forgers demonstrated robust personality characteristics indicative of psychologically ‘pushing forward’ through pandemic-related challenges. Reflectors demonstrated more pandemic reactivity including higher stress but also more psychological integration of the pandemic experience into their sense of self. In terms of future outlook, Forgers reported a positive and expansive outlook on the future across multiple measures. In contrast, Reflectors held more negative, restricted views of what future life might hold. Results are discussed in terms of the role of multi-level personality in dictating emerging adults’ future perspectives in the wake of life challenges. Ideas are presented about how to best support young people as they transition into the future, into adulthood, while grappling with the challenges of the pandemic.
 
Article
Becoming a parent creates a new phase in adult development where the creation of a family brings new meanings and relational dimensions to one’s life. For people who are involuntarily childless, however, the absence of children can have a multifaceted impact on their everyday lives. Although extensive studies concerning childlessness have been conducted, past work has tended to have a clinical focus on women's infertility and fertility treatments and much less attention has been paid to how involuntarily childless people live beyond the phase of trying for a child while contemporaries pursue their lives with children. This study explores the experience of 11 White, heterosexual British women in midlife living with involuntary childlessness. To gain experiential insights, semi-structured interviews were conducted and transcripts analyzed using interpretive phenomenological analysis. Analysis reveals two interrelated key patterns exemplifying intrapersonal and interpersonal features. This paper focuses on the latter. The findings bring to light not only layers of complex relational issues caused by being involuntarily childless, but also different ways of reconstructing meaning in relational reconnections that impacted positively on developing generativity. The paper presents the dynamics unique to each woman and offers micro-level understandings helpful for health professionals, family therapists, life coaches, and researchers looking into childlessness and midlife/adult development.
 
Article
Proactive coping involves actions to prevent or alter the form of future stressors which can be important for successful aging processes, but it relies on resources. We tested internal (physical health) and external (perceptions of social status and objective socioeconomic status) resources as predictors of proactive coping. 296 adults ranging in age from 60 to 90 (M = 64.67) responded to the Mindfulness and Anticipatory Coping Everyday (MACE) survey (English et al. in Eur J Ageing, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10433-018-0475-2; Neupert and Bellingtier in Gerontologist 57(S2):S187–S192, 2017, https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnx055). Older adults with higher subjective social status within their community possessed higher proactive coping skills than those with lower subjective social status. This finding was consistent across the older adult age range and was over and above the effects of objective socioeconomic status. In addition, older adults with more chronic health conditions reported less proactive coping than those with fewer health conditions. These results suggest that physical health along with the way older adults view their social status with respect to others in their community may have an impact on their ability to develop and use proactive coping.
 
Article
While the vast majority of family caregivers struggle to find balance between different roles in their lives, young adult caregivers are faced with the atypical challenge of caring for family member while simultaneously accomplishing developmental tasks typical of this stage in life (e.g., establishing career, developing romantic relationships). This exploratory, qualitative study examined strategies used by young adults to adopt family caregiving roles. These strategies can be described as embracement, compromise, and integration. While each approach allowed for the young adult to facilitate their caregiving role, additional research is needed to understand how the strategy affects the emerging adult’s development.
 
Conceptual model of the study
The indirect effect of insecure attachment dimensions on psychological well-being through interpersonal communication motives
Article
This study investigated insecure attachment of emerging adult daughters with their fathers and how it affects daughter's psychological well-being, with interpersonal communication motives taken as mediating variables. A sample of daughters (N = 243) ranging from 18 to 25 years was collected through purposive sampling from Islamabad and Rawalpindi. For this cross-sectional study, data were collected using psychometrically sound tools along with a demographic data sheet. Results revealed that anxiety and avoidance attachment style negatively correlate to young adult daughters' psychological well-being as hypothesized. Moreover, this relationship is partially mediated by interpersonal communication motives. Among communication motives, affection motive is a stronger predictor of psychological well-being scores (β = .31, p < .01). Other motives, i.e., pleasure, relaxation, inclusion, escape, and control did not show significant results in mediation. These findings have practical implications for parents, mental health professionals, and family counselors.
 
Article
In the present study, we investigated the ways in which the ideographic goal descriptions and goal appraisals of European American high school seniors reflect potentials for intentional self-development during emerging adulthood (EA), a lifespan phase characterized by increasing levels of freedom and decreasing age-graded, socially sanctioned developmental norms. Additionally, we investigated whether variation in participants’ goal appraisals and the motivational qualities emergent in their goal descriptions would predict variation in dimensions of identity development, both concurrently at age 18 and prospectively at age 23. Results of an exploratory, mixed method analysis of participants’ (N = 129, 56.6% male, Mage = 18.24, SD = 0.37) goal data revealed diversity in education and work goals, strong potentials for intentional self-development reflected across goal appraisals, and more nuanced reflections of intentional self-development across the motivational qualities emergent in goal descriptions. Results partially supported the hypothesis that goal appraisals and motivational qualities that reflect potentials for intentional self-development would predict kindred processes of identity development across the first five years of EA. These findings contribute to a nascent empirical literature focused on the interrelationship of goal and identity constructs during EA and suggest new avenues for future research.
 
News items containing “elderly” recorded by month Jan 2019–Jun 2020
Article
This article examines how “the elderly” is constructed in New Zealand online news media. By employing a critical framing analysis to challenge ageist practices, conceptually, the study adds to our knowledge of research methodologies in the field of adult development. Online news media articles were collected and analyzed to understand constructions of older adults as “elderly” over an 18-month period before, during, and since the COVID pandemic. Results demonstrated that the term “elderly” was framed powerlessly, in predominantly negative (74%) stereotypical messages about older adults. Positive stereotypes (26% of data) used human impact framing. Associations of “elderly” with being vulnerable, declining, and an individual or societal burden have serious implications, notably for the media in their role of both constructing and reflecting societal attitudes and actions towards older adults. Suggestions are offered to encourage reframing societal attitudes and promoting healthy adult development through age-equality messages that do away with the term “elderly.”
 
Standardized coefficients for the associations between discrimination, perspective taking, empathic concern, and prosocial behaviors. Gender was included as a statistical control but is not pictured. Covariances were included between perspective taking and empathic concern and also between public and altruistic prosocial behaviors. *p < .05
Article
The goal of the current study was to examine the role of discrimination experiences in ethnic minority young adults’ prosocial behaviors via perspective taking and empathic concern over time. Participants at Time 1 consisted of 130 ethno-racial minority young adults (76% Latino/a; M age = 20.96; 73.6% women). The results demonstrated that discrimination at Time 1 negatively predicted empathic concern at Time 2, which negatively predicted altruistic prosocial behaviors at Time 2. Overall, these results highlight the risk of discrimination experiences for positive social adjustment and provide evidence that this form of pervasive stress reduces young adults’ socioemotional resources, inhibiting selfless helping behaviors.
 
Scree plot of the initial factor analysis (principal axis factoring)
Visual representation of the 12-item 3-factor model with standardized factor loadings
Article
Developmental crisis is a construct that is central to many theories of psychosocial adult development, yet there is currently no validated psychometric measure of adult developmental crisis that can be used across adult age groups. To address this gap in the literature, we developed and validated an age-independent measure of adult developmental crisis for research and applied purposes, entitled the Developmental Crisis Questionnaire (DCQ-12). Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted separately on different samples. A three-factor structure emerged as the best fit with the data: (1) Disconnection and Distress; (2) Lack of Clarity and Control and (3) Transition and Turning Point. The DCQ-12 showed predictive validity with measures of self-esteem, locus of control, authentic living, optimism, presence of and search for meaning, turning points and a related crisis measure. Four-week test–retest reliability ranged from 0.78 to 0.89 across subscales. As well as research uses, the DCQ-12 measure has potential application in practice, given that assessment of developmental crisis has relevance to professionals working in clinical and non-clinical roles to support and coach adults through periods of transition.
 
Mediation model of attachment, affective empathy, and depressive symptoms (standardized estimates). *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.01
Article
Insecure attachment is regarded as a risk factor for depressive symptoms. However, insecure attachment can be divided into attachment avoidance and anxiety, so a better understanding of the relationship between attachment avoidance, attachment anxiety, and depressive symptoms is needed. The current study applied a structural equation model to verify our hypothesis that different facets of affective empathy mediate the relationship between attachment avoidance, attachment anxiety, and depressive symptoms. The participants of this study included four hundred and sixty-four undergraduate students who completed the Experiences in Close Relationships-Relationship Structures Questionnaire, Interpersonal Reactivity Index, and Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. The results indicated that the correlation between attachment avoidance and depressive symptoms was mediated by empathic concern, while the correlation between attachment anxiety and depressive symptoms was mediated by personal distress. These results implied that attachment avoidance and attachment anxiety work on depressive symptoms through different pathways.
 
Article
When older parents experience age-related functional limitations, adult children may begin to monitor and try to control their parents’ behavior. This shift can lead to tension due to differences in values both generations share, with parents prioritizing autonomy and self-sufficiency and adult children prioritizing safety and convention. Although a great deal of research on the transition from adolescence to adulthood focuses on governance transfer and changing boundaries of autonomy, monitoring, and control, less is known about how this happens in later life. The current study used qualitative methodology to explore the dynamic balance of autonomy, safety, and care between older parents and adult children who provide assistance in their daily lives. It focused on which areas adult children were most likely to monitor and try to control and how they did so, how parents respond to those efforts, and the dynamics of information management. Sixteen adult children who had at least one living parent (Mage = 53, SD = 6.1) discussed the challenges of managing two conflicting caregiving goals: respecting parents’ autonomy and ensuring parents’ moral well-being, health, and safety. Data were analyzed using directive content analysis. Although participants were concerned about the negative consequences of their parents’ current behaviors and health conditions, they rarely impinged on their parents’ autonomy until they were prompted by an authority figure or had clear evidence that their parents’ health or safety were threatened. Parents often kept information about their activities and well-being from their children in order to protect their autonomy. Implications for balancing parents and adult children’s goals of governance transfer are discussed.
 
Hypothesized model
Summarized results of the structural equation models. H husband; W  wife; SLE subjective life expectancy. *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001
Article
This study examines the longitudinal effects of older adults’ subjective life expectancy (SLE) on spousal support and strain toward their spouse. Data of 2080 older couples (N = 4160) from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS, 2006–2014) were assessed. Using dyadic growth curve modeling, the effects of older adults’ chronological age and SLE on spousal support exchanges were examined. Spousal support that wives received decreased over time. Spousal strain from husbands and wives also decreased over time. Older adults with shorter SLE provided less support for their spouse. They also showed a slower decrease in the strain they presented toward their spouse. A spouse may remain as an important social network for an older adult as suggested by the socioemotional selectivity theory and the social convoy model. However, an older adult’s efforts toward exchanging positive emotions with the spouse may decrease as the older adult’s perceived future time gets shorter.
 
Interaction effect of stressors and spirituality on SWL
Interaction effect of stressors and spirituality on depressive symptoms
Article
The present study examines the stress and coping process among a sample of emerging adults (ages 18–30) recruited though TurkPrime who completed at least some post-secondary education. Sources of stress and four positive personal coping resources, mindfulness, self-compassion, resilience, and spirituality, served as predictors, with all showing significant zero-order correlations with outcomes of satisfaction with life (SWL) and depressive symptoms. Controlling for personality and stressors, resilience, self-compassion, and spirituality each accounted for significant variance in SWL, and mindfulness and self-compassion were unique predictors of depressive symptoms. Spirituality also served as a moderator of the relation of stressors to each criterion variable. Results are discussed with respect to the previous research, along with limitations and strengths of the study and suggestions for future research.
 
Generative concern mediates the relation between positive influences and generative behavior, with extraversion moderating the path from positive influences to generative concern. Path coefficients are unstandardized regression weights (Bs) with corresponding standard errors (SEs) in parentheses. Gender was coded 0 = female and 1 = male. †p < .10; *p < .05; **p < .01; ***p < .001
The moderating effect of extraversion on the relation between positive influences and generative concern. Solid line: high extraversion (one standard deviation above the mean); dashed line: medium extraversion (the mean); dotted line: low extraversion (one standard deviation below the mean). On the x-axis, scores for positive influences are given at one score below the mean, at the mean, and one standard deviation above the mean; note, however, that for participants who did not report a single positive influence in their life stories, the z-standardized score was −.864. Scores for generative concern are also given in terms of standard deviations (i.e., 0 equals the mean)
Article
Previous research has shown that recalling positive influences in one’s life story correlates with generative concern. Given findings that not everyone benefits from generative efforts uniformly, however, the present study tested if extraversion moderates this relation. In total, 147 older German adults (59 through 83 years) recalled positive influences in their lives in an interview session and provided self-report questionnaire data on their generative concern (Loyola Generativity Scale), generative behavior (Generative Behavior Checklist), and extraversion (Mini-IPIP scales). Results from a moderated mediation model indicate that recalled positive influences related to generative concern but not generative behavior. Moreover, extraversion did indeed moderate between recalled positive influences and generative concern in that the relation was significantly positive for medium and high extraversion. The findings suggest that what people learn from generative role models is generative concern rather than generative behavior. They also suggest a twofold role of extraversion for generativity: It has been found to be a predictor of generativity but also affects what people gain from others’ generative efforts.
 
Proposed model: coping, executive function, and cognitive failure mediate between ACEs and well-being
Tested model: ACE effects via negative coping and cognitive failure
Article
Although the concurrent link between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and both physical and mental health is established, little is known about the mechanisms that explain it. We investigated the relationship between ACEs and well-being and the mediating roles of coping, executive function (EF), and cognitive failure in a non-clinical sample of college students. Participants (N = 194) completed behavioral measures and self-reports. More than half of the sample had at least one ACE. Correlational and mediational analyses examined the relationships between ACEs, college adaptation, psychopathology, substance use, coping, and cognitive failure. ACEs did not correlate with indices of EF or cognitive failure but there was a positive relationship between cognitive failure and negative coping. ACEs positively correlated with college adaptation, psychopathology, and substance abuse. There was a full mediation from ACE via negative coping and cognitive failure for college adaptation and psychopathology and via negative coping for alcohol, and drug use. ACEs relate with reliance on negative coping which in turn predicts poor adaptation, and heightened symptomatology for psychopathology either directly or indirectly through cognitive failure.
 
The interaction between satisfaction with father and attachment anxiety predicting depressive symptoms
The interaction between satisfaction with sibling and attachment anxiety predicting life satisfaction (a) and the interaction between satisfaction with sibling and attachment avoidance predicting life satisfaction (b)
The interaction between satisfaction with mother and attachment anxiety predicting life satisfaction (a) and the interaction between satisfaction with mother and attachment avoidance predicting life satisfaction (b)
Article
Highly satisfying social relationships make us happy and healthy—they fill us with joy and a sense of meaning and purpose. But do all the relationships in our lives contribute equally to our well-being and do some people benefit more from certain relationships? The current study examined associations between the satisfaction of specific relationships within a family (i.e., with parents, siblings) and adjustment (i.e., life satisfaction and depressive symptoms) among 572 emerging adults aged 18–25 (Mage = 19.95, SD = 1.42; 77.4% female). Overall, relationship satisfaction with mothers and fathers was associated with better adjustment. Attachment anxiety and avoidance moderated associations between relationship-specific satisfaction and adjustment. We discuss the findings in the context of the shifting of attachment functions during emerging adulthood and the dynamic nature of close relationships across the lifespan.
 
Structural equation model examining relationship quality as mediator linking child maltreatment to depressive and social anxiety symptoms. All paths are significant. Standardized estimates are reported
Article
Childhood maltreatment is associated with mental health problems across the life course and depression and social anxiety are two of the more common problems. Given the interpersonal nature of childhood maltreatment, adult romantic relationships have also been a keen interest. It has been suggested the interpersonal relationships may mediate the relationship between maltreatment and adult mental health; however, little research has examined the mediating role of adult romantic relationships. This omission misses an opportunity to advance empirical understanding as well as clinical intervention. To address this gap, the current study utilized a sample of 785 adults using two waves of data from the study of Midlife of Development in the United States to examine relationship quality as a mediator linking childhood maltreatment to adult depressive and social anxiety symptoms. Interpretation of structural equation models indicated that there were significant indirect effects from childhood maltreatment to both symptoms of depressive and social anxiety through relationship quality. Results of post-hoc analysis suggested that gender did not moderate any direct or indirect paths. In light of the significant indirect effects, relationship quality may be a point of intervention. Having a high-quality romantic relationship can provide a corrective experience for adults who were maltreated in childhood, thereby decreasing symptoms of depression and social anxiety.
 
The Research Model
Article
This study develops and tests a model of the predictors of financial preparedness for retirement using retirement planning knowledge and attitude as mediators. The study also compares the model across groups that choose to opt out or stay after being automatically enrolled in the private pension system. Structural equation modeling methodology is used to test the relationships between constructs using data from 600 employees (333 men, 267 women; M age = 30.12 years, SD = 8.39) from workplaces preparing to initiate automatic enrollment into the private pension system in Turkey. It is shown that both parental influence and life satisfaction are positively related to perceived financial preparedness for retirement. In contrast, pessimistic future economic perspectives have a negative effect on perceived financial preparedness for retirement. Moreover, the findings reveal a positive impact of retirement planning attitude and a negative impact of retirement planning knowledge on perceived financial preparedness. Mediating roles of retirement planning knowledge and attitude are determined. Path differences between those who opt out and those who stay enrolled in the private pension system are demonstrated. The study makes an original contribution by showing the impact of consumers’ current life satisfaction and future economic perspectives on financial preparedness for retirement. Given that retirement and financial planning studies have generally been conducted in developed countries, research investigating the predictors of financial preparedness for retirement in emerging countries remains scarce. Moreover, this study is novel in that, unlike previous works, it considers mediating factors. Finally, a further contribution is made by examining differences in the model between individuals who choose to stay within the private pension system and those who choose to opt out.
 
Mean levels of Flow as a function of purpose and age group. (Error bars on the bars are standard errors of the mean; error bars between bars are standard errors of the difference.)
Mean levels of Flow as a function of purpose and age group for the individual context condition (upper panel) and the social context condition (lower panel). (Error bars on the bars are standard errors of the mean; error bars between bars are standard errors of the difference)
Article
Motivational precursors to maintaining an active lifestyle across the lifespan are not well understood. Intrinsic experience and values can motivate activity engagement, but age-related change in resources and temporal horizons may moderate these effects. Flow (Csikszentmihalyi et al., 2005) is the phenomenological experience of complete absorption in an activity, which can engender engagement in the activity for its own sake. We explored how the purpose (communal or agentic) and context (social or individual) of an activity impact the Flow experience as a function of age. Across the lifespan, agentic activities produced a heightened Flow experience compared to communal activities, supporting the idea that Flow plays a lifelong role in the development and maintenance of mastery. However, Flow was disproportionately enhanced for communal activities with age, suggesting that social motives may increasingly contribute to the pleasures of activity engagement with progression through the adult lifespan.
 
Standardized Values for Parental Affection X Friend Strain Predicting Chronic Health Conditions
Standardized Values for Parental Affection X Spouse/Partner Support Predicting Depressed Affect
Standardized Values for Parental Affection X Spouse/Partner Strain Predicting Depressed Affect
Article
A lack of emotional support from parents during childhood has been found to predict both physical and mental health problems (i.e., chronic health conditions, depression) during middle and older adulthood. Less research has examined the factors that may either buffer or amplify this association. Using the Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS) national sample (N = 7,108; age = 20–75 years), the current study examined the moderating role of social support and social strain from three sources (i.e., family, friends, partner/spouse) on the association between early parental support and changes in chronic health conditions and depression. Poisson models indicated that low levels of early parental support were associated with greater health problems over time. However, the association between parental support and chronic health conditions was only significant for individuals with greater levels of friend strain. Additionally, the association between parental support and depression was only significant for individuals with low levels of support from a partner/spouse and high levels of strain from relationships with a partner/spouse. The current findings demonstrate the important role of source-specific social support and social strain in buffering individuals’ risk for experiencing increased problematic outcomes in response to a lack of early parental support.
 
Hypothesized Path Model
Unstandardized coefficients of the paths in the selected path model.*Significant at the .05 alpha level; the nonsignificant direct paths from exogenous variables to mediators were not presented
The sizes of bootstrapped coefficients of direct, specific indirect, total indirect, and total effects from exogenous variables to happiness
Article
This study aimed to explore the effects of perceived parenting styles (e.g., mother and father involvement, mother and father strict control) on the happiness of college students. The study also investigated the mediating roles of emotional self-efficacy and forgiveness (i.e., forgiveness of self, others, and situations) in this relationship. The form consisting of 123 survey items was voluntarily filled out by 386 college students. A path analysis was carried out in the study. Some of the core findings are as follows. Mother and father involvement had positive direct effects on happiness. In addition, both mother and father involvement indirectly affected happiness via emotional self-efficacy. Increase in parental involvement led to an increase in emotional self-efficacy, and high emotional self-efficacy contributed to higher happiness. Regarding strict control, neither mothers’ nor fathers’ parenting had significant direct or indirect effect on happiness. Improvements in forgiveness of self were related to the gender of the parents. On the other hand, improvements in forgiveness of others and situations were related to the type of parenting style. Forgiveness of self was only affected by maternal behaviors. Forgiveness of others was affected by mother and father involvement, while forgiveness of situations was affected by mother and father strict control. However, none of the dimensions of forgiveness had a mediating role in the impact of parenting styles on happiness among college students.
 
Conditional associations of parental rejection with distress tolerance problems and psychological distress at high and low levels of parental emotional warmth
Article
Several empirical studies have linked parenting styles with different mental health consequences in samples from Western nations, with some studies also in East Asian countries. However, few studies have analyzed such associations specifically in South Asian countries such as Pakistan. Moreover, few studies have examined the potential interactive role of parental rearing practices by both parents in relation to distress tolerance and psychological distress. In the current study, we evaluated the interaction of mothers’ and fathers’ parenting styles in relation to distress tolerance and psychological distress in Pakistani university students. Three hundred university students were recruited using a stratified sampling strategy. Students completed measures of their mothers’ and fathers’ parenting styles (separately), their distress tolerance, and their general psychological distress. There was great similarity in respondents’ recollection of parenting styles by mothers and fathers. Results of regression analyses indicated that high parental rejection and overprotection were associated with poorer distress tolerance and greater psychological distress. Although the direct associations of emotional warmth with distress tolerance and psychological distress were small, emotional warmth interacted with other parenting styles, such that negative effects of parental rejection and overprotection were lessened in the context of higher emotional warmth.
 
Structural equation model of the mediation effect of positive lay beliefs about romantic relationships
Bivariate correlations and means for the main study
Article
This paper tested why people differ with regard to whether they believe it is possible to find enduring love. Variations were assumed to be due to differences in people's experiences. Those who experienced dysfunction in their family of origin and who did not have positive relationships role-modelled to them were expected to be less likely to have positive lay beliefs about romantic relationships. Positive lay beliefs, in turn, were hypothesised to impact on dysfunction in own romantic relationships later on in life, which were in turn expected to affect relationship satisfaction. In other words, positive lay beliefs were tested as one potential mechanism through which family dysfunction whilst growing up impacts on relationship dysfunc-tion in later adult life. This paper presents a pilot study (N = 176) which introduces a measure for 'positive lay beliefs about romantic relationships', and finds this measure to be associated, as expected, with dysfunction in the family of origin. The main study (N = 435) then tested the full hypothesised model (family-of-origin dysfunction → positive lay beliefs → romantic relationship dysfunction → relationship satisfaction) with structural equation modelling, and found that the model fitted the data very well, confirming the hypotheses. It was concluded that lay beliefs about whether or not it is possible to find enduring love are an important mediator of the effects of family-of-origin dysfunction on later romantic relationship satisfaction.
 
Proposed model: coping, executive function, and cognitive failure mediate between ACEs and well-being
Tested model: ACE effects via negative coping and cognitive failure
Article
Although the concurrent link between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and both physical and mental health is established, little is known about the mechanisms that explain it. We investigated the relationship between ACEs and well-being and the mediating roles of coping, executive function (EF), and cognitive failure in a non-clinical sample of college students. Participants (N = 194) completed behavioral measures and self-reports. More than half of the sample had at least one ACE. Correlational and mediational analyses examined the relationships between ACEs, college adaptation, psychopathology, substance use, coping, and cognitive failure. ACEs did not correlate with indices of EF or cognitive failure, but there was a positive relationship between cognitive failure and negative coping. ACEs positively correlated with college adaptation, psychopathology, and substance abuse. There was a full mediation from ACE via negative coping and cognitive failure for college adaptation and psychopathology and via negative coping for alcohol and drug use. ACEs relate with reliance on negative coping which in turn predicts directly and indirectly, through cognitive failure, poor adaptation and heightened symptomatology for psychopathology.
 
Group means for neighborhood risk, social cohesion, and community self-efficacy
Article
The goal of the current study was to examine latent profiles of young adults based on neighborhood risk, social cohesion, and community self-efficacy, and to examine whether these profiles predicted prosocial behaviors (i.e., actions intended to benefit others) toward both friends and strangers. Participants were 197 emerging adults (M age = 20.94 years; range = 18–25 years; 76.5% women; 36.5% White; 50.5% Latino/a; 7.7% Black; 5.7% Asian; 5.5% Native; 13.6% other and included groups such as Mestizo, mixed race, and Mexican) who completed measures of their own environmental characteristics and prosocial behaviors. Results demonstrated three groups of emerging adults. Group membership was also marginally associated with prosocial behaviors toward friends but not strangers. Specifically, the moderate community risk group scored marginally higher than the community efficacy group on prosocial behaviors toward friends. Discussion focuses on the role of contexts in shaping social responding of emerging adults with an emphasis on factors that promote helping behaviors toward both friends and strangers.
 
Top-cited authors
David O. Moberg
  • Marquette University
Mary M. Brabeck
  • New York University
John Traphagan
  • University of Texas at Austin
Harold Koenig
  • Duke University Medical Center
Kristin Homan
  • Grove City College