Overview: Stanford Center on Adolescence

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.

The Center is interested in how young people find purposes, how purposes can be sustained over time, and how people can find life-enhancing new purposes as they age. The Center is also interested in how various educational environments, ranging from k-12 schools to higher education establishments, do or do not assist young people in their searches for purpose. The Center also takes an interest in how work environments can promote entrepreneurial purpose, how families can communicate purpose across the generations, and how organizations can design purposeful conditions for those who participate in them.