The benefits of reflecting on and discussing purpose in life in emerging adulthood

Bundick, M. J.
Journal Article
Year Published: 2011
Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
New Directions for Youth Development, 2011(132):89-103, Winter 2011.
University of Pittsburgh

While purpose in life has been studied at various developmental stages, little attention has been given to purpose interventions in the emerging adult years. To address this gap, this author tested whether a one-time session of deeply reflecting on and discussing one's purpose in life may have lasting effects toward contributing to both later purpose and later life satisfaction. He also tested whether any such benefits for later life satisfaction may be attributable, at least in part, to changes in purpose. Using data from a subsample (n=102) of a larger study of youth purpose, the author found that deep reflection on and discussion of one's purpose in life had benefits for both life satisfaction and the goal-directedness component of purpose, but not for the purpose-identification component, nine-months later. Changes in goal directedness partially mediated the benefits toward later life satisfaction. The author discusses the implications for purpose interventions.

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