Preferences for collaborative and individual everyday problem solving in later adulthood

Jo Nell Strough, Suling Cheng, Lisa M. Swenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Individual and contextual predictors of preferences for solving everyday problems alone and in collaboration with others were investigated in a sample community-dwelling older adults (M age = 71.80 years, SD = 5.78, range = 56-87, 51 men, 56 women). Gender differences in problem-solving preferences were found in gender-stereotyped domains (e.g., meal-preparation; house repair). In several problem domains, more positive social comparisons of problem-solving ability were related to greater preferences for solving problems alone and lesser preferences for solving problems with others. Marital status, temporal comparisons of ability, and perceived health and control were related to problem-solving preferences in some problem domains. Results are discussed from a contextual perspective that focuses on the fit between individuals’ personal and social resources and their preferred approaches to solving everyday problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-35
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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