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date: 08 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter, we review research on interpersonal everyday problem solving from adolescence through old age. First, we provide a brief history of the emergence of research on interpersonal everyday problem solving as a distinct area of inquiry. We then outline a contextual and motivational model of interpersonal everyday problem solving across the lifespan. Drawing from this model, we discuss how dimensions of interpersonal relationships, in tandem with normative developmental tasks, give rise to age and gender differences in problem-solving goals and strategies. We review research that investigates links between goals and strategies, and evidence suggesting that goals may explain age and gender differences in problem-solving strategies. We also consider the extent to which a match between goals and strategies serves as an index of problem-solving effectiveness. We conclude by offering suggestions for future research.

Keywords: goals, strategies, everyday problem solving, gender, interpersonal relationships, adolescence, emerging adulthood, later adulthood, effective problem solving

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