This study examined the associations between goal adjustment capacities, coping, and indicators of subjective well-being in 2 waves of data from individuals who provide care for a family member with mental illness. We hypothesized that goal adjustment capacities would predict higher levels of subjective well-being by facilitating coping with caregiving stress. Results showed that goal disengagement was associated with effective care-specific coping (e.g., less self-blame and substance use). Goal reengagement was also associated with effective care-specific coping (e.g., positive reframing), but at the same time it predicted the use of less effective strategies (e.g., venting and self-distraction). Moreover, goal disengagement predicted lower levels of caregiver burden and depressive symptoms and buffered the longitudinal effect of caregiver burden on increases in depressive symptoms. Goal reengagement, by contrast, predicted higher levels of caregiver burden and purpose in life and buffered the cross-sectional association between caregiver burden and depressive symptoms. Finally, effective (and less useful) care-specific coping statistically explained the adaptive (and maladaptive) effects of goal adjustment capacities on participants' well-being.
- Goal adjustment
- Subjective well-being
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science