TitleWomen's Self-Relevant Goal Pursuit in the Presence of Physical Pain: An Intraindividual Variability Approach.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsTurner, S, Hooker, K, Stawski, RS
JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Date Published09/2020

OBJECTIVE: Pursuing personal goals that are relevant to one's sense of self is important for adjusting to age-related changes. Experiences of physical pain, however, are thought to threaten both people's sense of self and their pursuit of personal goals. Although a majority of older women experience physical pain, little is known about their day-to-day regulation of their self-relevant goals in the presence of physical pain. The objectives of this study were to explore associations between physical pain and health goal pursuit on a daily basis for women who identified health as a part of their possible selves.

METHOD: We took an intraindividual variability approach to analyze whether there were within-and between-person differences in associations between daily pain and daily health goal progress among 62 women who provided data over the course of 100 days, yielding 4,150 occasions of data.

RESULTS: At the between-person level, women with higher pain on average had lower health goal pursuit on average. At the within-person level, days of higher-than-average pain were associated with lower same-day health goal progress.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that pain interrupts regulation of a self-relevant goal at a within-person - not just between-person - daily level. Future work should consider how these daily, within-person, disruptions impact broader identity processes and overall well-being.

Alternate JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
PubMed ID32882026