Life Regrets and Current Goals as Predictors of Psychological Adjustment

Len Lecci, Morris A. Okun, Paul Karoly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

107 Scopus citations


Life regrets and current goals were examined as predictors of psychological adjustment in a sample of 155 Ss who rated these constructs along 13 theoretically derived dimensions. Relative to regrets, goals were perceived as more impactful, important, controllable, achievable, socially supported, and desirable, and as occupying more time and energy. Hierarchical regression models indicated that regret ratings account for an additional 19.8% of the variance in life satisfaction and 11.9% of the variance in depression scores after removing the variance attributed to goal ratings. Furthermore, regrets contributed to the prediction of psychological adjustment after controlling for negative affectivity. A content analysis of respondents' regrets is presented and related to chronological age and gender. A goal-based reformulation of regrets is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)731-741
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1994


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Psychology

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