Life Goals and Well-Being: Does Financial Status Matter? Evidence from a Representative Hungarian Sample

Tamás Martos, Mária S. Kopp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)


Previous research with the Aspiration Index suggests that the importance of intrinsic life goals (e. g. personal growth and relationships) is in positive association with indicators of well-being, whereas an orientation toward extrinsic life goals (e. g. wealth and appearance) is connected with decreased positive functioning. Our study extended the scope of previous research by analyzing the role of financial status (income and subjective financial status). Examining a nationally representative cross-sectional sample of 4,841 Hungarian adults, we found that after controlling for several sociodemographic variables intrinsic goal importance was in a positive relationship with subjective well-being (SWB) and meaning in life (ML), whereas the contribution of extrinsic life goals was weak to SWB and negative to ML. Moreover, no moderation effects were found for indices of financial status, indicating that the relationship between life goals and well-being is the same for poorer and for richer respondents. Results show that the basic assumptions of the Aspiration Index research are also valid when testing on a societal level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-568
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2012



  • Extrinsic and intrinsic life goals
  • Financial status
  • Hungary
  • Meaning in life
  • Subjective well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

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