Beyond-the-Self Purpose Among the 'Greatest Generation'

Jenni M. Mariano; George E. Vaillant

This paper was discussed in Paper discussion 4-048: Implications of youth purpose for positive adjustment, led by Jenni M. Mariano. Other papers discussed were:

  • The Beyond-the-Self Dimension of Adolescent Purpose
    Brandy Quinn
  • Purpose and Emotional Flourishing during Adolescence
    Anthony L. Burrow

Abstract: Purpose is a goal that is meaningful to self and directed at making a positive difference in the world beyond self (Damon, Menon, & Bronk, 2003). Thus, the two-pronged nature of purpose – as both pertaining to self and extending “beyond-the-self” (BTS) – has recently become of interest as it pertains to youth development and psychological adjustment. The papers in this symposium are thus positioned to explore key questions related to purpose and adjustment and, by virtue of their diverse methods, to present varied perspectives on the topic. The order of presentations first uncovers the nature of BTS purpose, and then explores positive adjustment varia