Journal article
(Original article)

Personal effort in social relationships across adulthood

Publication Details
Author(s): Lang F, Wagner J, Wrzus C, Neyer FJ
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Publication year: 2013
Volume: 28
Journal issue: 2
Pages range: 529-539
ISSN: 0882-7974


We explored age differences in the amount of personal effort that people put forth to maintain relationships across adulthood in diverse family-life contexts. More specifically, we examined how personal effort in social relationships is age-differently related to emotional closeness and perceptions of reciprocity. A total of 658 early-midlife (37 years) and old-age adults (73 years) from three life contexts (biological parents, parents from blended families with at least one stepchild, childless individuals) completed a questionnaire assessing ego-centered social networks, relationship quality, perceived conflict, and personal characteristics. As expected, perceived relationship effort was more pronounced and more strongly associated with emotional closeness in old age than in early midlife. In both age groups, perceived effort was comparably associated with reciprocity and conflict. Such associations were similar across the different life contexts. The findings suggest that perceived personal effort in social relationships contributes to the proactive shaping of social worlds across adulthood. © 2013 American Psychological Association.

How to cite
APA: Lang, F., Wagner, J., Wrzus, C., & Neyer, F.J. (2013). Personal effort in social relationships across adulthood. Psychology and Aging, 28(2), 529-539.

MLA: Lang, Frieder, et al. "Personal effort in social relationships across adulthood." Psychology and Aging 28.2 (2013): 529-539.

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