Anthony L. Burrow, Patrick L. Hill, Kaylin Ratner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


While the constellation of developmental challenges confronting adolescents has received considerable research attention, much less is known about the strengths and resources that promote successful adaptation during this period of the lifespan. Emerging perspectives of positive youth development have described purpose in life as a core developmental asset that can help support healthy adolescent growth and development. Backed by more extensive research with adults, a sense of purpose engenders the psychological wherewithal to create, capitalize on, and carry out meaningful life goals. In the current entry, the extent to which adolescents cultivate such a sense is explored, with an eye toward its particular utility in helping youth negotiate key developmental tasks. Given the early stages of this area of research, future directions are also discussed for enhancing our understanding of the significance of purpose in the lives of adolescents.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Adolescence
EditorsRoger J.R. Levesque
ISBN (Electronic)9783319321325
StatePublished - May 30 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Psychological Flexibility
  • Life Goal
  • Positive Youth Development
  • Life Satisfaction


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