ERIC Number: EJ1051750
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
The Role of Age and Motivation for the Experience of Social Acceptance and Rejection
Nikitin, Jana; Schoch, Simone; Freund, Alexandra M.
Developmental Psychology, v50 n7 p1943-1950 Jul 2014
A study with n = 55 younger (18-33 years, M = 23.67) and n = 58 older (61-85 years, M = 71.44) adults investigated age-related differences in social approach and avoidance motivation and their consequences for the experience of social interactions. Results confirmed the hypothesis that a predominant habitual approach motivation in younger adults shifts toward a stronger avoidance motivation in older adults. Moreover, age and momentary motivation predicted the experience of an actual social interaction. Younger adults reported stronger negative emotions in a rejection situation when striving to approach acceptance rather than avoid rejection. Conversely, older adults reported fewer positive emotions in a rejection situation when they attempted to avoid rejection rather than approach acceptance. Taken together, the present study demonstrates that the same motivation has different consequences for the experience of potentially threatening social situations in younger and older adults. People seem to react emotionally when the achievement of important developmental goals (approaching others in young adulthood, avoiding negative social interactions in older adulthood) is thwarted. Moreover, results suggest that approach and avoidance motivation play an important role for socioemotional development.
Descriptors: Adult Development, Motivation, Peer Acceptance, Social Isolation, Rejection (Psychology), Age Differences, Interpersonal Relationship, Negative Attitudes, Positive Attitudes, Social Development, Emotional Development, Physiology, Arousal Patterns, Hypothesis Testing, Foreign Countries, Young Adults, College Students, Older Adults, Questionnaires, Regression (Statistics)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Switzerland
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A