Educational Leadership


Life tasks and daily life experience

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John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


This article explores the assumption that the goals on which an individual works structure the experience of daily life. One set of important goals are those consensual tasks that reflect the age‐graded expectations of a living environment (e.g., the task of being on one's own at college). Whereas most members of a common age group share these consensual life tasks, individuals in a group differ in the relative importance they place on different tasks and in their appraisals of them. In the present study of 54 women living in a college sorority, the importance of a life task was associated with increased relevance of the task to daily life events, as revealed in experience sampling. The women were more emotionally involved in events that they saw as highly relevant to their life tasks than in less relevant events and, for each person, positive affect and emotional involvement in task‐relevant events were related to her initial life task appraisals.