Tenacious goal pursuit and flexible goal adjustment in older people over 5 years: a latent profile transition analysis

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Background: previous research has shown that tendencies to tenaciously pursue goals (TGP) and flexibly adapt goals (FGA) relate to well-being of older people.

Objectives: this study aimed to identify subpopulations of elderly people with different coping profiles, describe change in participants' profiles over time and determine the influence of coping profiles on well-being over a 5-year period.

Methods: latent profile transition analysis (LPTA) was used in a three-wave longitudinal data collection measuring flexibility, tenacity, depression, self-rated health and life satisfaction among an elderly population over 65 years old.

Results: three coping profiles were identified. Profile 1 was characterised by participants with high flexibility and tenacity scores, Profile 2 with moderate flexibility and low tenacity scores and Profile 3 with low flexibility and moderate tenacity scores. Results indicate stability of these profiles over time, with Profile 1 being the most adaptive in terms of ageing well.

Conclusion: high flexibility and tenacity in older people is a stable coping profile that is associated with successful ageing.

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