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Psychol Aging. 2001 Jun;16(2):206-16.

Planning for the future: a life management strategy for increasing control and life satisfaction in adulthood.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts 02254, USA.


The study examined the social, personality, and cognitive correlates of self-reported future planning and the relationship of future planning to perceived control and life satisfaction. Using 2 probability samples of adults ages 25-74 (n = 2,971, n2 = 300) findings suggest, for Study 1, that education, income, social support, predictability, Conscientiousness. and Openness to Experience were positively related to future planning, whereas Neuroticism and Agreeableness were negatively related. Men were more future oriented; as age increased, future planning decreased. Study 2 replicated the findings with the exception of age, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. For both studies, results supported a model in which the effects of future planning on life satisfaction were mediated by sense of control. A Planning x Age interaction for Study I indicated that although self-reported future planning decreased with age, the positive effects of future-oriented planning strategies on life satisfaction were most pronounced for the older adults, and this relationship was also mediated by control beliefs.

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