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The role of mattering as an overlooked key challenge in retirement planning and adjustment

Andreas Hirschi

Froidevaux, A., Hirschi, A. & Wang, M. (2016). The role of mattering as an overlooked key challenge in retirement planning and adjustment. Journal of Vocational Behavior 94, 57-69, doi: 10.1016/j.jvb.2016.02.016.50

Abstract

In an aging society, making a successful transition from work to retirement and achieving good quality of retirement adjustment become major concerns for individuals, organizations, and governments. This paper focuses on the particular role of mattering (i.e., individuals' perceptions that they make a difference in the world) as a critical self-concept dimension that may mediate the impact of social interactions on retirement process at two distinct phases. We conducted two studies using time lagged design (with one-year time interval) among older workers 55 years or older (N = 161; Study 1) and retirees (N = 186; Study 2). Study 1 found that mattering mediated the effects of social support at work on life satisfaction but not retirement planning. Study 2 found that mattering mediated the effects of general social support on positive affect but not life satisfaction. Contrary to our expectation, mattering also did not mediate effects of caregiving activities. Overall, our results suggest that mattering represents a critical mechanism that explains some of the positive associations between social support and retirement adjustment quality.