Journal of Adult Development

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 99–112 | Cite as

Do You Need to Have Them or Should You Believe You Have Them? Resources, Their Appraisal, and Well-Being in Adulthood

  • Mike Martin
  • Gerben J. Westerhof


How young, middle-aged, and young-old adults use individual resources to cope with challenges and changes in their lives is likely to influence the ways they will approach late life. One of the most important barriers to using available resources is the subjective appraisal of the situation, of the available resources, and of the potential use of these resources. The present study based on 2,313 individuals (25–74 years) from the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS) examines the structural relations between available social, financial, and health resources, the subjective appraisal of these resources, and well-being in young, middle-aged, and young-old adults. The results indicate that the subjective appraisal of resources mediates the effects of available social, financial, and health resources on well-being irrespective of age groups. The discussion focuses on the importance of the appraisal of available resources as a precondition to successfully cope with stress, and points out avenues for intervention research.

resources resource appraisal age differences middle adulthood 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mike Martin
    • 1
  • Gerben J. Westerhof
    • 2
  1. 1.University of ZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of PsychogerontologyUniversity of NijmegenThe Netherlands

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