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Purpose and Well-Being in Adulthood Daniel K. Lapsley and Jay Brandenberger University of Notre Dame Anthony Burrow Loyola University-Chicago Jessica Collado.

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Presentation on theme: "Purpose and Well-Being in Adulthood Daniel K. Lapsley and Jay Brandenberger University of Notre Dame Anthony Burrow Loyola University-Chicago Jessica Collado."— Presentation transcript:

1 Purpose and Well-Being in Adulthood Daniel K. Lapsley and Jay Brandenberger University of Notre Dame Anthony Burrow Loyola University-Chicago Jessica Collado and Patrick Hill University of Notre Dame Association for Moral Education, New York, 2007

2 Two Research Goals Report evidence on the measurement properties and convergent validity of the Stanford Center of Adolescent “Youth Purpose Scale” Examine whether the linkage between Purpose and life satisfaction is mediated by agency and pathways of “Hope”

3 “A stable and generalized intention to accomplish something that is at once meaningful to the self and is of consequence to the world beyond the self” --Damon, Menon & Bronk (2004)

4 There is an ethical dimension bound up with the desire to live a purposive life Purpose may be the ground of living well the life that is good for one to live and point in the direction of classical sources on eudemonia and what it means to flourish

5 Two claims about purpose crucial for understanding adolescent development not necessarily related to well-being struggle to live purposive life not restricted to adolescence relation to well-being an open empirical question

6 ND Moral Purpose Study Survey ND Class of ’94 (purpose, well-being, life-satisfaction, generativity, integrity, ‘hope’) Aligned with Service learning experiences Freshman survey Senior survey 10-year out survey

7 Participants N = 399 Mean age: 35 57% Male Caucasian/European-American

8 SubscalesExamples Searching (5-items) I am seeking a purpose or mission for my life. I am searching for meaning in my life Identified (5-items) My life has a clear sense of purpose I have a good sense of what makes my life meaningful Engagement (5-items) I do many things that make my life meaningful I participate in one or more organizations that serve my purpose in life Identity Centrality (5-items) I have a purpose in life that reflects who I am I have a life purpose that says a lot about the kind of person I am

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11 YP Searching YP Identified

12 How are YP-Identified and YP-Searching related to “well-being”?

13 Has a sense of mastery and competence in managing environment; controls complex array of external activities; makes effective use of opportunities; chooses or creates contexts suitable to personal needs and values Environmental Mastery (11-items, α =.87) Has a feeling of continued development; sees self as growing and expanding; is open to new experiences; has sense of realizing one’s potential; sees improvement in self…. Personal Growth (11-items, α =.88) Has goals in life and sense of directedness; feels there is meaning to present and past life; holds beliefs that give life purpose; has aims and objectives for living. Purpose in Life (14-items, α =.91) High scorers…Subscales Psychological Well-Being (C. Ryff, 1989)

14 “character strength” that reflects steadfast commitment to ethical principles 18 items, α =.83 Integrity Scale (B. Schlenker, 2006)) Passing on knowledge & skills; making a significant contribution to betterment of community; leaving a legacy; being creative & productive 20 items, α =.88 Loyola Generativity Scale (D. McAdams ) Global appraisal of life-satisfaction drawing upon domains self finds relevant 5 items, α =.87 Satisfaction with Life (Diener et al., 1985) DescriptionItemsMeasure Life Satisfaction, Generativity, Integrity

15 YP-Identified r with Environmental Mastery.593** Personal Growth.565** Purpose in Life.810** Satisfaction with Life.656** Generativity.660** Integrity.304** YP-Searching-.233

16 YP-Searching r with Environmental Mastery-.260** Personal Growthns Purpose in Life-.234** Satisfaction with Life-.226** Generativityns Integrityns

17 Is the relationship between Youth Purpose and Life Satisfaction mediated by “hope”? Hope Scale (Snyder et al., JPSP, 60, )

18 Hope is fueled by: perception of successful agency with respect to goals or sense of successful determination in meeting goals in past, present & future “agency” (goal-directed determination)

19 Hope is fueled by: perceived availability of successful pathways related to goals or sense of being able to generate successful plans to meet goals “pathways” (planning of ways to meet goals)

20 The agency and pathways of hope are “reciprocal, additive and positively related, although they are not synonymous” --Snyder et al., 1991) “Where there is a will there is a way” (is only partly true)

21 I can think of many ways to get out of a jam There are lots of ways around any problem I can think of many ways to get the things in life that are most important to me Even when others get discouraged, I know I can find a way to solve the problem Pathways (4-items) α =.86 I energetically pursue my goals My past experience has prepared me well for my future I’ve been pretty successful in life I meet the goals that I set for myself Agency (4-items) α =.87 Examples…Subscales Hope Scale (Snyder et al., 1991)

22 Identified Purpose Satisfaction with Life Hope Pathways β =.66 (.61) β =.36β =.42

23 Identified Purpose Satisfaction with Life Hope Agency β =.66 (.47) β =.58β =.67

24 Conclusions Youth Purpose scale coalesces around two internally consistent factors –“Identified” and “Searching” “Identified” Purpose –strong convergent validity –strong associations with well-being, life- satisfaction and integrity “Searching” Purpose –not so much (at least in adulthood)

25 “Identified” purpose is robustly related to indices of well-being but “Searching” for purpose is not

26 But Identified Purpose“ contributes to life satisfaction only when there is “hope” (or the agentic aspect of hope)

27 Agentic-Hope mediates the relationship between Identified Purpose and Life Satisfaction Life satisfaction seems to require both “purpose” and “agency”

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