The Development of Purpose During Adolescence

  title={The Development of Purpose During Adolescence},
  author={William W. Damon and Jenni Menon and Kendall Cotton Bronk},
  journal={Applied Developmental Science},
  pages={119 - 128}
The field of psychology has been slow to recognize the importance of purpose for positive youth development. Until recently, purpose was understood, if at all, as a means of adapting to threatening conditions rather than as a motivator of good deeds and galvanizer of character growth. Moreover, in most psychological studies, purpose has been conflated with personal meaning, a broader and more internally oriented construct. This article offers a new operational definition of purpose that… 
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Meaning and purpose share a focus on personal significance, but purpose represents a narrower construct than meaning. Whereas meaning refers to any experience one defines as personally significant, a
Purpose In Adolescence, What Am I Here For? A Qualitative Examination on the Expression, Development and Integration of Purpose in At-Risk and Thriving Male Adolescents
This study examined the differential role of purpose in the lives of high school male students representing a range of personal and academic well-being, including both thriving and at-risk
Classifying adolescents’ conceptions of purpose in life
Motivating youth to find a purpose in life promotes positive youth development. However, it is as yet uncertain whether adolescents think of purpose in ways similar to researchers. This study
The Development of Purpose in Life Among Adolescents Who Experience Marginalization: Potential Opportunities and Obstacles
How experiences of marginalization could contour the development of self-integrative, strong, and articulated purpose among adolescents who experience marginalization is discussed.
The Role of Purpose in Optimal Human Functioning
Early research on purpose focused on the negative effects associated with leading a life devoid of personal significance. Accordingly, the present chapter opens with a discussion of the theoretical
Purpose In Adolescence: A Review of the Literature and an Intervention Plan
The research on purpose in adolescence is reviewed, existing interventions are reviewed, and a model for a new type of purpose intervention for adolescents is proposed.
A Grounded Theory of the Development of Noble Youth Purpose
Having a noble purpose in life is an important component of positive youth development; however, little is known about how noble purposes develop over time. Therefore, using three waves of interviews
Profiles of a Developmental Asset: Youth Purpose as a Context for Hope and Well-Being
Cluster analysis supported four meaningful yet distinguishable profiles of youth purpose that are largely consistent with theories on identity formation and suggest a correspondence between stronger commitments to purpose and youths’ sense of personal agency and well-being.
A Better Tomorrow: Toward a Stronger Science of Youth Purpose
Having a sense of purpose in life has been discussed as a psychological asset for promoting positive youth development. Yet confidence in the benefits of purpose has accumulated faster than rigorous
Purpose in life: A psychological construct that indicates positive development
: Purpose is a stable and generalized intention to accomplish something that is at once meaningful to the self and of consequence to the world beyond the self. It has distinct connotation from


The Youth Charter: Towards the Formation of Adolescent Moral Identity.
Abstract Studies of adolescent conduct have found that both exemplary and antisocial behaviour can be predicted by the manner in which adolescents integrate moral concerns into their theories and
Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being.
Reigning measures of psychological well-being have little theoretical grounding, despite an extensive literature on the contours of positive functioning. Aspects of well-being derived from this
Positive psychology. An introduction.
The authors outline a framework for a science of positive psychology, point to gaps in the authors' knowledge, and predict that the next century will see a science and profession that will come to understand and build the factors that allow individuals, communities, and societies to flourish.
The structure of psychological well-being revisited.
  • C. Ryff, C. Keyes
  • Psychology
    Journal of personality and social psychology
  • 1995
Comparisons with other frequently used indicators demonstrated that the latter neglect key aspects of positive functioning emphasized in theories of health and well-being, while the proposed 6-factor model was superior in fit over single-factor and other artifactual models.
Young Adolescents' Meaning in Life
Past research on peoples' self-reports of their meaning in life has not included those below college age. In contrast, the present study focused on such reports by 116 young adolescents. We found
Adolescents' Meaning in Life: A Replication of Devogler and Ebersole (1983)
It is expected that adolescents in a Christian community more frequently attribute their meaning in life to beliefs than will adolescents in the non-Christian population.
Sources of Meaning: An Investigation of Significant Commitments in Life
This study investigates, combining qualitative and quantitative research methods, the sources of meaning in life of young adult patients and nonpatients. In addition to the exploratory concerns, the
Effects of World View on Purpose in Life
Abstract In this study, we examined the association of 201 American university students' world views with their sense of purpose in life, as measured by a paper-and-pencil test. Those ascribing to
Experiences of meaning in life: a combined qualitative and quantitative approach.
The Life Regard Index (LRI), an instrument designed to measure the construct of positive life regard, was found to be strongly associated with the interpersonal dimension of well-being.
Frankl's method of psychotherapeusis, logotherapy, is an application of the principles of existential philosophy to clinical practice, and Kotchen has published a quantitative attack upon the relation of mental illness to existential concepts.