Addressing Important Questions in the Field of Adolescent Purpose

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APA Citation: 

Burrow, A. L., Hill, P. L., & Sumner, R. (2014). Addressing important questions in the field of adolescent purpose. Child Development Perspectives, 7(4), 232-236.

Publication Topic: 
Other Third-Wave Therapies: Conceptual
Publication Type: 
purpose; adolescence; positive youth development; agency

In this review, we discuss three questions about the importance of studying purpose as a construct relevant to adolescence. We consider how finding a purpose can help youth answer questions such as “Who am I?” and “Where am I going?” and summarize the benefits of finding a purpose during adolescence. Purposeful youth are more agentic and driven in their lives, as well as happier and less susceptible to risks common in adolescence. We conclude by identifying areas that merit study, including the need to understand which contexts best scaffold the development of purpose among youth and the need for experimental research to strengthen causal claims.

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