Longitudinal purpose in life trajectories: Examining predictors in late midlife

Han Jung Ko*, Karen Hooker, G. John Geldhof, Dan P. McAdams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Research shows midlife adults consistently report higher purpose in life (PIL) than older adults. However, less is known about the changes in PIL during the transition from midlife to older adulthood. This study examined 5-year changes of PIL among late-midlife adults in the Foley Longitudinal Study of Adulthood (n = 163, MAge = 56.37). Results showed that most midlife adults reported higher-stable PIL whereas some of them showed lower-stable PIL, with trait conscientiousness and race being significant predictors of PIL. Future studies should investigate when PIL tends to stabilize and how personality and racial experiences influence the development of PIL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)693-698
Number of pages6
JournalPsychology and Aging
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • African American
  • Midlife
  • Personality traits
  • Purpose in life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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