Center Overview

The Stanford Center on Adolescence is a scholarly research center that aims to promote the well-being of young people growing up in today's world. The Center pursues its mission through scholarly research that can provide information and guidance for parenting, educational practice, and vocational training. In addition, the Center offers support for doctoral students and visiting opportunities for post-doctoral fellows on a short-term basis.

The Center’s primary focus is the development of purpose during adolescence and beyond. Purpose is a forward-looking intention to accomplish goals that are meaningful to the self and of consequence to the world beyond the self. A growing body of evidence indicates that purpose is associated with academic achievement, vocational success, energy, resilience, and psychological and physical health throughout the lifespan. Purpose can be found in family, work, faith, and other important life missions. More »

Research

The Center's research agenda examines learning in the adolescent and early adult years, purpose, identity, and character formation in an array of settings found in contemporary society.

In the Spotlight

• Recent podcasts have been created by people interested in the Center's work on the development of purpose. Listen as William Damon talks with Lauren Faggella, Summit Public Schools, about "Developing Sense of Purpose in Middle School? It’s Not Too Early," with Jim Thompson, founder and CEO of Positive Coaching Alliance, about "Youth Sports Can Be A Vehicle To Help Kids Find Their Purpose," with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio, and with Brett McKay, The Art of Manliness, about "How to Find Your Life’s Purpose."

• TheBestSchools.org has recognized William Damon as one of “The 50 Most Influential Living Psychologists in the World.”

• Center Research Director, Heather Malin, and alumna Kendall Cotton Bronk (Claremont Graduate University), were interviewed in a January, 2018, Hechinger Report article Helping teens find their purpose.

• Representing the Pathways to Encore Purpose project, Anne Colby has been selected as one of Next Avenue’s Top 50 Influencers in Aging for 2017.

• This Stanford Retiree Insider article about our Pathways to Encore Purpose project is a follow up piece to their Winter 2016 article introducing the study.

• Listen as Tony Wagner, William Damon, and Jill Berkowicz talk about "Helping Students Find Purpose Through Passion and Play," an interview on BAM Radio's Studentcentricity, with Rae Pica.

• Here's an article in GSE News about our current study, "Pathways to Encore Purpose," which aims to help older Americans lead more purposeful lives.

©2011 Stanford Center on Adolescence.
505 Lasuen Mall, Stanford, CA 94305-3083
Office: 650.725.8205 / Fax: 650.725.8207