Correlates and Developmental Trends of Thriving in Adolescence

Matthew J. Bundick, David S. Yeager, and William Damon

Presented in Division 7: Developmental Psychology Well-being research has proliferated since the emergence of the positive psychology movement, but the role of development in conceptualizing well-being as it applies to adolescence has been underappreciated. The concept of “thriving” has been introduced in the literature to refer to optimal adolescent development from a strengths-based perspective. The current study offers a new conceptualization of thriving, taking into consideration aspects of well-being (such as subjective well-being, resilience, and purpose in life), as well as the developmental notions of future orientation, fulfillment of potential, and progression along an upward life trajectory. Of particular interest are the relationships between thriving and gender, race, academic achievement, family income, and social supports, and how they differ from early to late adolescence.

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