Regrets and their associations with ego integrity and well-being in midlife
In the present study, we investigated what kind of regrets middle-aged people have and how regrets are associated with their well-being (psychological well-being and life satisfaction) and ego integrity. The investigated 50-year-old participants (111 men, 110 women) were drawn from the Jyväskylä Longitudinal Study of Social Development and Personality. Half of the participants (53.8 %) reported regretting something in their life. Regrets were classified into six content categories: 1) studies and education (21.7 % of those reporting regrets mentioned this regret), 2) work and career (20.9 %), 3) family and parenting (19.1 %), 4) relationship and marriage (16.5 %), 5) lifestyle and personal characteristics (13.0 %) and 6) living and finances (8.7 %). The participants who had no regrets reported more ego integrity and life satisfaction than the participants who had regrets. On the other hand, those participants who had regrets related to studies and education as well as to lifestyle and personal characteristics reported the least ego integrity. In addition, those participants with regrets related to studies and education were the most unsatisfied with their lives.