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Adolescent Aspirations for Change: Tolerance and Creativity

Publication Authors: 
Seana Moran

In a sample of 270 American adolescents, most aim to fit in and have "a good life." But 12%, who tend to be older and more other-oriented, forbear the tensions of uncertainty and ambiguity to bridge across differences (tolerance), focusing on peace, justice, racial unity, or immigrant inclusion. And 16%, who tend to be more self-oriented, attempt to expand the bounds of societal acceptance of new ideas (creativity) through the arts, psychology, or the media. This mixed-methods study shares differences in these two groups in how they talk about their aspirations, reasons and supports; and in their senses of identified purpose, life meaning, and life satisfaction.