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Psychology | Positive Psychology - Advances in Understanding Adult Motivation

Positive Psychology

Advances in Understanding Adult Motivation

Sinnott, Jan (Ed.)

2013, XXIII, 353 p.

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  • Examines adult motivation from the viewpoint of positive psychology
  • Emphasis on the full developmental lifespan
  • Provides a useful resource for both practitioners and academics in the field of positive psychology

The study of Positive Psychology brings a much needed fresh emphasis to the study of the cognition, personality traits, and contexts of behavior that are associated with optimal development during the life course.  The field highlights the ways in which growth, hope, and resilience aid a person and motivate him or her in dealing with the inevitable challenges of life.

Positive Psychology: Advances in Understanding Adult Motivation examines the traits and contexts of behavior that are associated with optimal development and resilience over the life course. The volume investigates individual psychological development through the stages of emerging adulthood, full adulthood, middle age, and old age.  It explores which personality traits and which aspects of the environment help a person to flourish, thrive, and grow. Moreover, the volume describes the development of resilience as well as other characteristics that will assist individuals in overcoming challenges throughout adult development.

Accordingly, the chapters in this book each speak to one of the major portions of adult life that can be addressed in new ways by means of the relatively new discipline of Positive Psychology. The case studies are drawn from the entire field of Positive Psychology, from acceptance to teaching Positive Psychology, divided into four organizational and theoretical subsections about research and scholarship related to the creation or existence of:

                -positive subjective experiences;

                -positive personality traits;

                -positive environments; and

                -learning to thrive during adulthood.


This book will serve as an indispensable reference for both academics and practitioners who are using a positive psychology approach in their daily practice.

Content Level » Professional/practitioner

Keywords » Csikszentmihalyi - developmental positive psychology - flow theory and happiness - history of positive psychology - influence of Erik Erikson on positive psychology - life coaching - optimal development - personal strengths - positive personality traits - positive psychology - positive psychology across the life-span - resilience over the life-course - self-efficacy - subjective experiences - thriving in adulthood - well-being across the life span

Related subjects » Personality & Social Psychology - Psychology

Table of contents 


Introduction.    by Jan D. Sinnott

Chapter 1.       Calling in Child Rearing – Promoting Meaningful, Purposeful Living in Family Life by Justin Coulson, Gerard Stoyles, and Lindsay Oades

Part I               Positive Subjective Experiences

Chapter 2.       Mental Health and Illness in Relation to Physical Health Across the Lifespan by Sanne M. A. Lamers, Gerben J. Westerhof, Ernst T. Bohlmeijer and Corey L. M. Keyes

Chapter 3.       Flow Theory and the Paradox of Happiness by Bryan  Moore

Chapter 4.       Finding Flow: The History and Future of a Positive Psychology Concept by Grant J. Rich

Chapter 5.       Identity, Wisdom, and Critical Life Events in Younger Adulthood by Jeffrey Dean Webster

Chapter 6.       Amusing Ourselves to Health: A Selected Review of Lab Findings by Evangeline A. Wheeler

Part II              Positive Personality Traits

Chapter 7.       Rediscovering Internal Strengths of the Aged: The Beneficial Impact of Wisdom, Mastery, Purpose in Life, and Spirituality on Aging Well by Monika Ardelt, Scott D. Landes, Kathryn R. Gerlach, and Leah Polkowski Fox

Chapter 8.       The Black Survivors: The Courage, Strength, Creativity and Resilience in the Cultural Traditions of Black Caribbean Immigrants by Leonie J. Brooks

Chapter 9.       The Role of Motivation in Adults’ Reading Comprehension: A Lifespan View by Kelly Branam Cartwright

Chapter 10.     Martial Arts as a Pathway to Flourishing by Charles H. Hackney

Part III             Positive Environments

Chapter 11.     Creating a More Ethical Workplace by Larry Froman

Chapter 12.     A Seminar in Positive Psychology by Sanford Lopater

Chapter 13.     The Positive Psychology of Adult Generativity: Caring for the Next Generation and Constructing a Redemptive Life by Dan P. McAdams

Chapter 14.     The History and Future Directions of Positive Health Psychology by Christa K. Schmidt, Kathryn L. Ziemer, Sarah Piontkowski, and Trisha L. Raque-Bogdan

Part IV                        Learning to Thrive During Adulthood

Chapter 15.     The Influence of Erik Erikson on Positive Psychology Theory and Research by

Michelle D. Vaughan and Eric M. Rodriguez


Chapter 16.     Resilience and Multiple Stigmatized Identities: Lessons from Transgender Persons’ Reflections on Aging by Susan H. McFadden, Scott Frankowski, Heather Flick, and Tarynn M. Witten

Chapter 17.     Experiential Wisdom and Lifelong Learning by Kevin Rathunde

Chapter 18.     Stress-Related Growth in the Lives of Lesbian and Gay People of Faith by Eric M. Rodriguez and  Michelle D. Vaughan


Chapter 19.     Biological Complexity Meets Positive Psychology: What Does Complexity Theory Tell Us about Positive Psychology? by Tarynn M. Witten

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