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Psychology | Purpose in Life - A Critical Component of Optimal Youth Development

Purpose in Life

A Critical Component of Optimal Youth Development

Cotton Bronk, Kendall

2014, X, 175 p. 1 illus.

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  • The only book that synthesizes, the growing body of research on the topic of purpose in life in a comprehensive manner
  • Positions the concept of purpose in life in the broader field of positive psychology
  • Highlights the critical role of purpose in optimal human functioning

This volume integrates and makes sense of the growing body of theoretical and empirical research conducted on purpose across the lifespan.  It opens with a comprehensive yet detailed discussion of the definitions of purpose most commonly used in studies on the topic.  In addition to defining the construct, the author also discusses its philosophical roots and distinguishes it from related concepts, including meaning, goals, and ultimate concerns.  This volume discusses the disparate perspectives on the construct and addresses the tendency to position purpose in the broader frame of positive psychology.  It synthesizes distinct strands of research on purpose across the lifespan, it explores studies on the daily and longer-term experience of a purposeful existence, and it delves deeply into the wide range of measurement tools that have been used to assess the purpose construct.  Further, it examines the prevalence and forms of purpose among diverse groups of youth and discusses the developmental trajectory of the construct. Other topics discussed include the central role of purpose in supporting optimal well-being and positive youth development.  The book closes with empirically-supported steps adults, educators, and mentors can take to effectively and intentionally foster purpose among young people and makes recommendations for future research on the topic.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Adulthood and Life Purpose - Definition of Meaning in Life - Developmental Psychology - Emotional Development - Flourishing and Human Development - Measuring Purpose in Life - Optimal Development - Optimal Human Functioning - Positive Psychology - Positive youth development - Purpose across the Lifespan - Purpose in Life - Quality of Life - Thriving and Purposes in Life - Types of Purposes in Life

Related subjects » Child & School Psychology - Psychology - Wellbeing & Quality-of-Life

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