Life-management strategies of selection, optimization, and compensation: measurement by self-report and construct validity

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2002 Apr;82(4):642-62.


The authors examined the usefulness of a self-report measure for elective selection, loss-based selection. optimization, and compensation (SOC) as strategies of life management. The expected 4-factor solution was obtained in 2 independent samples (N = 218, 14-87 years; N = 181, 18-89 years) exhibiting high retest stability across 4 weeks (r(tt) = .74-82). As expected, middle-aged adults showed higher endorsement of SOC than younger and older adults. Moreover, SOC showed meaningful convergent and divergent associations to other psychological constructs (e.g., thinking styles, NEO) and evinced positive correlations with measures of well-being which were maintained after other personality and motivational constructs were controlled for. Initial evidence on behavioral associations involving SOC obtained in other studies is summarized.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Goals*
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological
  • Personality
  • Personality Inventory* / statistics & numerical data
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Concept
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thinking