An Operational Integration of Lifespan Development Theories

Abstract

Lifespan theories seek to explain the ways that individuals manage their development, staying healthy and content amidst age-related gains and losses. However, the lifespan literature is fragmented, with constructs studied separately rather than in concert. This study addresses these issues, generating evidence regarding the integrative factor structure and well-being implications of developmental self-regulation constructs. An age-diverse adult sample (n = 506) completed scales measuring constructs derived from four primary lifespan theories (dual-process model of assimilative and accommodative coping, motivational theory of life-span development, model of selection, optimization, and compensation, socioemotional selectivity theory), in addition to well-being and social desirability measures, at two time points. Pre-registered hypotheses were largely supported, with a bifactor structure observed, and significant, positive relationships found between the general developmental self-regulation factor (ā€œDā€) and well-being. Lending further support, the same bifactor structure was replicated in a separate, hold out cross-sectional sample of age-diverse adults (n = 585).

Publication
Current Psychology