Purpose is a broad and sustained intention to accomplish something one finds meaningful to the self, and often also of consequence to the world beyond the self. Purpose drives life goals and daily decisions by guiding the use of finite attention and energy. Overall, purpose can be defined as a sense of directedness that stimulates goals, manages behaviors, and provides a sense of meaning to one’s life. To date, our understanding of how purpose relates to youth outcomes is limited, however a recent pilot study on a nationally representative sample of adolescents found that it is negatively related to outcomes such as substance use, depression, getting in fights, and delinquency and positively related to good grades (Lippman et al., forthcoming).




Sources Cited

Lippman, L., Guzman, L., & Moore, K. A. Measuring Flourishing Among Youth: Findings from the Flourishing Children Positive Indicators Project. Webinar. July 2012.