Journal of Adult Development

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 179–188 | Cite as

Positive and negative self-related goals and subjective well-being: A prospective study

  • Katariina Salmela-Aro
  • Jari-Erik Nurmi


To examine whether having self-related personal goals, or rather whether positive or negative appraisal of them, is associated with subjective well-being, 311 students were asked to complete the Personal Project Analysis (PPA) and revised Beck Depression Inventory, first at the beginning of their studies, and then 2 years later. After 3 years they were asked about the use of mental health services. Two groups of students were identified: (1) those with positive self-projects and (2) those with negative self-projects. The results showed that both positive and negative self-related projects showed stability across a 2-year period, but only negative ones were prospectively predicted by earlier depressive symptomatology. Although neither positive nor negative projects predicted depressive symptomatology, both predicted the use of mental health services.

Key Words

Self-related goals personal goals depression mental health services 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyFIN-00014 University of HelsinkiFinland

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