Social development E


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PERSONALITY PROCESSES AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES Predicting Women's Well-Being in Midlife: The Importance of Personality Development and Social Role Involvements Elizabeth A. Vandewater, Joan M. Ostrove, and Abigail J. Stewart University of Michigan Theories of adult development suggest that both personality and social roles are sources of adult well-being, but most research has examined only social roles. An integrated model was used, including personality, number of roles, and role quality, to predict well-being in 2 longitudinal studies of college-educated women. Results for both samples indicated that role quality and personality develop- ment were important components of the path to well-being, whereas number of roles occupied was important mainly in early adulthood. Moreover, the results provided support for E. Erikson's (1968) notion of the importance of the sequencing of personality development for later well-being. Path analyses indicated that engagement in multiple roles during early adulthood facilitated the develop- ment of identity, which predicted generativity and role quality, which in turn predicted well-being. A large body of empirical work shows that women's role involvements affect their psychological well-being (see, e.g., Barnett & Baruch, 1985; Baruch & Barnett, 1986; Baruch, Biener, & Barnett, 1987; Crosby, 1983; Epstein, 1983; Gerson, 1985; Helson, Elliot, & Leigh, 1990; Elizabeth A. Vandewater, Joan M. Ostrove, and Abigail J. Stewart, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan. Joan M. Ostrove is now at the Program in Health Psychology, University of California, San Francisco. The research reported in this article was conducted with support from Boston University Graduate School, National Science Foundation Visiting Professorships for Women, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, the MacArthur Foundation Network for Research on Successful Midlife Development, Radcliffe Research Support and Midlife Program grants from the Henry A. Murray Research Center, the University of Michigan Horace H. Rackham Graduate School, and National Institute of Mental Health subgrants under Prime Grants 1- RO1-MH43948 and 1-RO1-MH47408. Computer-accessible data and copies of some of the raw data for several waves of both of the studies have been archived at the Henry A. Murray Research Center, Radcliffe College. We are grateful to the participants in the studies for their contributions of time and personal reflections over the past 18 years; to Sandra Tangri for her generous collaboration on the Michigan sample follow-up; to Laura Klem for her generous contributions of statistical consulting and assistance; to Ravenna Helson for her collaboration in understanding midlife women; to Laura Kubzansky, Shelley MacDermid, Wesley Schultz, Thomas Popoff, and David Winter for their helpful comments and untiring assistance; and to the Radcliffe Longitudinal Study group and the Women's Life Paths Study group for feedback, support, and
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This note was uploaded on 02/17/2011 for the course PSY 201 taught by Professor Richardkirkmiller during the Winter '10 term at University of Phoenix.

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