Finding and seeking purpose among ethnic minority girls: Sources of social support in middle school

Jenni Menon Mariano

Youth purpose is associated with positive developmental outcomes. Little is known however, about how purpose is supported by the ecologies in which adolescents are embedded. Fifty nine primarily ethnic minority middle school girls (M age = 12.87 years) completed self-report measures of finding purpose, seeking purpose, and social support. Finding purpose was associated with support from parents, friends, teachers and the broader school environment. School support however was not considered significantly important to the adolescents in relation to finding a purpose. Adolescents' proclivity to seek a purpose was related to parent and friend support, while the support of teachers and school was neither a present nor important influence in encouraging the search for purpose.