Encyclopedia of Geropsychology

Living Edition
| Editors: Nancy A. Pachana

Motivational Theory of Lifespan Development

  • Joseph S. Kay
  • Jutta HeckhausenEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-080-3_128-1


The Motivational Theory of Lifespan Development (MTD) explains the processes by which humans optimally pursue their developmental goals. Development is most successful when humans pursue appropriate goals, engage in goal-directed efforts to pursue their goals, and disengage when goals have been achieved or are no longer attainable. MTD has implications for goal attainment, health, and well-being across the lifespan.


Motivational Theory of Lifespan Development

Humans operate in a complex environment in which prospects for achieving meaningful life goals wax and wane according to biological and social opportunities and constraints. The Motivational Theory of Lifespan Development (MTD) (Heckhausen and Schulz 1993; Heckhausen et al. 2010) expands on the lifespan theory of control (Heckhausen and Schulz 1995; Schulz and Heckhausen 1996) and describes the processes by which humans operate within...


Successful Aging Motivational Theory Goal Pursuit Secondary Control Functional Goal 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Social Behavior, School of Social EcologyUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA