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Is it adaptive to disengage from demands of social change? Adjustment to developmental barriers in opportunity-deprived regions.

Tomasik MJ, Silbereisen RK, Heckhausen J - Motiv Emot (2010)

Bottom Line: Theoretical considerations and empirical research suggest that with unattainable goals and unmanageable demands motivational disengagement and self-protective cognitions bring about superior outcomes than continued goal striving.Results showed that disengagement was positively associated with general life satisfaction in regions that were economically devastated and has less than average services for families.Similar results were found for self-protection concerning domain-specific satisfaction with life.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT
This paper investigates how individuals deal with demands of social and economic change in the domains of work and family when opportunities for their mastery are unfavorable. Theoretical considerations and empirical research suggest that with unattainable goals and unmanageable demands motivational disengagement and self-protective cognitions bring about superior outcomes than continued goal striving. Building on research on developmental deadlines, this paper introduces the concept of developmental barriers to address socioeconomic conditions of severely constrained opportunities in certain geographical regions. Mixed-effects methods were used to model cross-level interactions between individual-level compensatory secondary control and regional-level opportunity structures in terms of social indicators for the economic prosperity and family friendliness. Results showed that disengagement was positively associated with general life satisfaction in regions that were economically devastated and has less than average services for families. In regions that were economically well off and family-friendly, the association was negative. Similar results were found for self-protection concerning domain-specific satisfaction with life. These findings suggest that compensatory secondary control can be an adaptive way of mastering a demand when primary control is not possible.

No MeSH data available.


Correlation of self-protection at work and satisfaction with work conditional on work-related opportunity structures
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Fig1: Correlation of self-protection at work and satisfaction with work conditional on work-related opportunity structures

Mentions: For general life satisfaction, the cross-level interaction did not become significant (p = .10) so that we had to abandon the hypothesis that the correlation between self-protection and general life satisfaction varies as a function of the opportunity structure. Findings were different when satisfaction with work was analyzed as the response variable. There was a significant cross-level interaction between self-protection and opportunity structure. As expected, there was a negative coefficient for the interaction term (β = −.09; SE = .04; p < .05): Higher self-protection was correlated with higher satisfaction with work only under unfavorable opportunity structures and vice versa. This model is depicted in Fig. 1, a condition plot showing the relationship between two variables as a function of a third one. The conditional variable represents the opportunity structures and was split in three intervals that approximately comprised the same number of subjects. Under unfavorable conditions (left panel in Fig. 1) higher self-protection was associated with higher satisfaction. Individuals who employed more strategies of self-protection in the domain of work were thus more satisfied with it, if (and only if) the opportunity structures were unfavorable. Exactly the opposite was true for self-protection under average (center panel in Fig. 1) and favorable opportunity structures (right panel in Fig. 1). This finding thus fully supported the hypothesis of this paper. Quite a similar picture emerged after the investigation of transfer effects between self-protection in the work domain and satisfaction with family life. There was a negative coefficient for the interaction term (β = −.09; SE = .05; p < .05) meaning that the correlation between self-protection and satisfaction with family was only positive under unfavorable conditions. When opportunity structures were not unfavorable, the correlation was negative. Summarizing the results for self-protection in the work domain, the hypothesized interactions were significant for the domain-specific measures of satisfaction with life but not for the general assessment of life satisfaction. There were thus both within-domain and between-domain effects.Fig. 1


Is it adaptive to disengage from demands of social change? Adjustment to developmental barriers in opportunity-deprived regions.

Tomasik MJ, Silbereisen RK, Heckhausen J - Motiv Emot (2010)

Correlation of self-protection at work and satisfaction with work conditional on work-related opportunity structures
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2991184&req=5

Fig1: Correlation of self-protection at work and satisfaction with work conditional on work-related opportunity structures
Mentions: For general life satisfaction, the cross-level interaction did not become significant (p = .10) so that we had to abandon the hypothesis that the correlation between self-protection and general life satisfaction varies as a function of the opportunity structure. Findings were different when satisfaction with work was analyzed as the response variable. There was a significant cross-level interaction between self-protection and opportunity structure. As expected, there was a negative coefficient for the interaction term (β = −.09; SE = .04; p < .05): Higher self-protection was correlated with higher satisfaction with work only under unfavorable opportunity structures and vice versa. This model is depicted in Fig. 1, a condition plot showing the relationship between two variables as a function of a third one. The conditional variable represents the opportunity structures and was split in three intervals that approximately comprised the same number of subjects. Under unfavorable conditions (left panel in Fig. 1) higher self-protection was associated with higher satisfaction. Individuals who employed more strategies of self-protection in the domain of work were thus more satisfied with it, if (and only if) the opportunity structures were unfavorable. Exactly the opposite was true for self-protection under average (center panel in Fig. 1) and favorable opportunity structures (right panel in Fig. 1). This finding thus fully supported the hypothesis of this paper. Quite a similar picture emerged after the investigation of transfer effects between self-protection in the work domain and satisfaction with family life. There was a negative coefficient for the interaction term (β = −.09; SE = .05; p < .05) meaning that the correlation between self-protection and satisfaction with family was only positive under unfavorable conditions. When opportunity structures were not unfavorable, the correlation was negative. Summarizing the results for self-protection in the work domain, the hypothesized interactions were significant for the domain-specific measures of satisfaction with life but not for the general assessment of life satisfaction. There were thus both within-domain and between-domain effects.Fig. 1

Bottom Line: Theoretical considerations and empirical research suggest that with unattainable goals and unmanageable demands motivational disengagement and self-protective cognitions bring about superior outcomes than continued goal striving.Results showed that disengagement was positively associated with general life satisfaction in regions that were economically devastated and has less than average services for families.Similar results were found for self-protection concerning domain-specific satisfaction with life.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT
This paper investigates how individuals deal with demands of social and economic change in the domains of work and family when opportunities for their mastery are unfavorable. Theoretical considerations and empirical research suggest that with unattainable goals and unmanageable demands motivational disengagement and self-protective cognitions bring about superior outcomes than continued goal striving. Building on research on developmental deadlines, this paper introduces the concept of developmental barriers to address socioeconomic conditions of severely constrained opportunities in certain geographical regions. Mixed-effects methods were used to model cross-level interactions between individual-level compensatory secondary control and regional-level opportunity structures in terms of social indicators for the economic prosperity and family friendliness. Results showed that disengagement was positively associated with general life satisfaction in regions that were economically devastated and has less than average services for families. In regions that were economically well off and family-friendly, the association was negative. Similar results were found for self-protection concerning domain-specific satisfaction with life. These findings suggest that compensatory secondary control can be an adaptive way of mastering a demand when primary control is not possible.

No MeSH data available.