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Developing a sense of purpose among youth: The role of agrarian values

Publication Authors: 
Devora Shamah and K.A. MacTavish

This study examined how high school youth in Wallowa County, Oregon construct their sense of purpose in the context of three isolated rural communities. Findings reveal that the ways in which youth make sense of developmental experiences within family and community are key to understanding the development of sense of purpose. Youth with a stronger sense of purpose embodied the agrarian values of the community and perceived there to be support within their families and school. Implications about the role of rural communities in supporting successful development include assisting youth in exploring sense of purpose and the agrarian values held by their communities.