Conference Participants: Concept of Purpose 2003

"Exploring the Nature and Development of Purpose in Youth"

Conference Participants


Twelve researchers attended the conference as presenters. These scholars were invited because each had conducted research that provides insights into purpose, and which could inform future research on the topic. These attendees are featured below.

Dr. Peter Benson is president of Search Institute, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a non-profit research organization dedicated to promoting the well-being of children and adolescents. Dr. Benson's research on developmental assets for children and youth identifies a sense of purpose as an important part of young peoples' positive identity development, which along with other assets, helps them thrive. Benson's research also explores the role of communities in helping youth develop purpose and other assets.

Dr. William Damon is Professor of Education at Stanford University and Director of the Center on Adolescence. Dr. Damon's current research explores how young people develop character and a sense of moral purpose in work, family, and community relationships. He also examines how young people can approach careers with an emphasis on creative innovation, excellence, and social responsibility.

Dr. Robert Emmons is Professor of Psychology at the University of California-Davis. Dr. Emmons' research is at the interface of personality psychology and religion. His research on personal strivings is relevant to the investigation of the kinds of purposes young people and adults may choose, and what types of concerns are most important to them. Dr Emmons' research illuminates religion and spirituality as a sourc