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Psychol Aging. 2001 Sep;16(3):400-13.

Developmental regulation before and after a developmental deadline: the sample case of "biological clock" for childbearing.

Author information

  • 1Center for Lifespan Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany. heckhaus@uci.edu

Abstract

This quasi-experimental research investigates developmental regulation around a critical life-span transition, the "biological clock" for childbearing. The action-phase model of developmental regulation proposes contrasting control orientations in individuals approaching versus those having passed a developmental deadline. Individuals in an urgency phase close to the deadline should be invested in goal pursuit, whereas those who have passed the deadline without attaining the goal should focus on goal disengagement and self-protection. In 2 studies, women at different ages and with or without children were compared with regard to various indicators of primary and secondary control striving for goal attainment versus goal disengagement and self-protection. Findings support the action-phase model of developmental regulation. Patterns of control striving congruent with the participants' status as pre- versus postdeadline were associated with superior psychological well-being.

PMID:
11554519
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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