Skip to main content

Support and Instruction for Youth Purpose: New Directions for Youth Development, Number 132

Support and Instruction for Youth Purpose: New Directions for Youth Development, Number 132

Jenni Menon Mariano (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-25310-6 February 2012 Jossey-Bass 128 Pages


In Stock



Learn about the kinds of learning tools and experiences that are most likely to foster a positive and engaged sense of purpose for diverse groups of youth. This groundbreaking research is among the first in recent years to explicitly address the supports of youth purpose and construct youth purpose interventions. Presenting the current state of the field on instructing for youth purpose, it’s a valuable resource for researchers, teachers, and policymakers who are interested in promoting positive youth development.

This is the 132nd volume of New Directions for Youth Development, the Jossey-Bass quarterly report series dedicated to bringing together everyone concerned with helping young people, including scholars, practitioners, and people from different disciplines and professions. 

Issue Editor's Notes 1
Jenni Menon Mariano

Executive Summary 7

1. Promoting youth purpose: A review of the literature 13
Sonia Issac Koshy, Jenni Menon Mariano
The research findings on how purpose can be supported are reviewed in this article. Curricular approaches to teaching for purpose are discussed.

2. The role of purpose in life in healthy identity formation: A grounded model 31
Kendall Cotton Bronk
The study reported in this article followed a sample of adolescent purpose exemplars for five years. The findings show how purpose is related to one particular aspect of healthy development during the adolescent life stage: identity formation.

3. Supporting a strong sense of purpose: Lessons from a rural community 45
Devora Shamah
This case study of students in one remote rural county shows how out-ofschool activities along with work experiences are important for developing a strong sense of purpose. The article discusses how many of the purpose support strategies can be effectively extended to urban and suburban communities.

4. Make Your Work Matter: Development and pilot evaluation of a purpose-centered career education intervention 59
Bryan J. Dik, Michael F. Steger, Amanda Gibson, William Peisner
This article reports results of a quasi-experimental pilot study and follow-up focus group that evaluated Make Your Work Matter, a three-module, school-based intervention designed to help adolescent youth explore, discover, and enact a sense of purpose in their early career development.

5. Purpose plus: Supporting youth purpose, control, and academic achievement 75
Jane Elizabeth Pizzolato, Elizabeth Levine Brown, Mary Allison Kanny
This article examines the effectiveness of an intervention designed to promote purpose development in high school students from a lowsocioeconomic-status community.

6. The benefits of reflecting on and discussing purpose in life in emerging adulthood 89
Matthew J. Bundick
This article reports outcomes of a purpose intervention for college students. It shows how engaging students in a guided reflection and discussion activity around their life goals and core values can support their purposefulness later in life and can also be important to their life satisfaction.

7. Conclusion: Recommendations for how practitioners, researchers, and policymakers can promote youth purpose 105
Jenni Menon Mariano
This article discusses specific measures that practitioners, researchers, and policymakers can take to support purpose among youth.

Index 113