Imagine that you have a younger sibling who is 17-years-old and is facing an existential dilemma. S/he reports being frequently “bored with life” and not sure “what it is all about.” Write a letter to this sibling using research-based findings to help this individual become a happier person. In organizing your thoughts around this issue consider three different elements of happiness espoused in the literature: (1) pursuit of pleasure (hedonism), (2) meaning (eudaimonia), or (3) engagement (flow). What role does each play in the “life well lived”? Consider using real-life examples and comparisons from your own life. How has this worked for you? What advice can you give as the older, wiser sibling? Consider recent research in your answer and frame your response in the language of the course.


I. MATERIAL FROM TEXTBOOK (Organized By Chapter)

  1. Chapter 7 (p. 241-242)

  • Mentor – a non-familial adult who provides a young person with guidance and support
    • o Provides encouragement, mutual commitment and respect
    • o Emotional bond develops over time
    • Benefits of Mentor
      • o Mentors are chosen
      • o Source of information, adult attitudes and skills as well as wisdom
      • o Living model of how adults act and shape the teen’s own actions through their praise and criticism
      • oSocial capital – a network of personal and social relationships that makes it easier to be effective in accomplishing one’s goals
        • § Web of social and professional relationship make it easier to be productive or accomplish one’s goal

  • o Helps teens work through difficulties more safety

  1. Chapter 9
    - Flow : a state of deep involvement and enjoyment that may occur when a task calls for solid skills and presents high but realistic challenges.

    • - Flow is most likely to occur when both skill and challenge are high; get pleasure or enjoyment while participating in the experience
      • - Skill- feel in control but let yourself be carried along
      • - Challenge- when a person is presented with a difficult task, but success seems possible
- Boredom- skilled but takes on unchallenging tasks
  1. Intrinsic Motivation vs. Flow (McMahan, 2009, p. 313)- Intrinsic motivation involves doing something because it is pleasurable or exciting
    - Flow refers not to the reason for doing it, but for the experience whiledoing it.
    • - If an activity is not intrinsically interesting, it is unlikely to lead to flow.
    • - Intrinsic motivation does not have to be the only reason for the activity

  • The Capable Self - A sense of self-efficacy, the belief that one has the abilities, skills, energy, and resources needed to have an impact on events of personal importance (McMahan, 2009, 313)
2. Chapter 13

Types of Problems (McMahan, 2009, p. 433)
Externalizing Problems
  • “Turning one’s difficulties toward the external world, for example, in the form of aggressive or antisocial behavior” (McMahan, 2009, p. 433)
  • Includes substance abuse
  • More common in boys than girls
Internalizing Problems
  • “Turning one’s difficulties inward, toward the self, for example in the form of depression or an eating disorder” (McMahan, 2009, p. 433)
  • Includes anxiety
  • More common in girls than boys
  • “Different problems that tend to show up at the same time in the same person” (McMahan, 2009, p. 433)

  • A mood disturbance marked by lengthy periods of deep sadness (McMahan, 2009, p. 455).
  • 29% (roughly 3 out of 10) of high [[#|school]] students felt sad or hopeless for 2 plus weeks in the U.S. (McMahan, 2009).
  • Depression is twice as common in girls than boys
  • emotional- one may feel worthlessness (McMahan, 2009, p. 455).
  • cognitive- one may be more pessimistic, have poor concentration, and difficulty with making decisions. (McMahan, 2009, p. 455).
  • The third highest cause of death in teens is suicide (McMahan, 2009, p. 456).
  • 17%, one in six teens, has seriously considered suicide; 13% reported that they had cone beyond and thought up a plan; 8.5% one in twelve, attempted suicide at least one time. (McMahan, 2009, 458)
  • Suicide thought rates for Girls are roughly twice as high as that for Boys.
  • Boys success rates of suicide are nearly four times as high as girls, as the means they tend to use are quick and reliably lethal (guns/hanging). (McMahan, 2009, 459)
  • Suicidal thought rates for Hispanics are highest, followed by whites, and then African-Americans. (McMahan, 2009, 460)
  1. Chapter 14
  • Internal Resources
    • Internal locus of control, high self-esteem, intrinsic motivation, self-efficacy, mastery orientation, optimism, prosocial attitude, coping skills
    • The more personal resources an adolescent possesses, the more they will be able to profit from families, [[#|schools]] and community. Additional resources will help to strengthen these personal qualities (McMahan, 2009, p. 477).

  • External Resources
  • Psychologist Reed Larson thinks a key element in a positive development is initiative-the ability to be motivated from within to direct attention and effort toward a challenging goal.
    • Art, hobbies, and community service projects are apart of the three aspects of initiative: intrinsic motivation, directed attention, and a challenging goal. These activities can provide teens with a successful experience towards exercising initiative. They also provide teens with encouragement to direct their actions toward accomplishing self-relevant goals (McMahan, 2009, p. 485-486).

  • Interest-the opposite of boredom; a basic tool adolescents use to select information from their environment.
    • It has a motivating function. People find it easier to concentrate, to persist, to learn, and to recall when they are interested in an activity.
    • Focuses attention on other things, events and activities and away from others
    • Participating in interests heightens self-esteem and internal locus of control; more confident, curious, powerful & enthusiastic about future
    • Adolescents who maintain a high level of interest in their lives & activities are more likely to believe that what they do has an impact on what happens to them (McMahan, 2009, p. 487).

  • Extended Engagement – An outcome when teens see themselves as active and welcome participants in the development of their community (McMahan, 2009, p. 487)
    - community service - A wide array of organized activities intended to help link adolescents to broader circles of society
    - is said to foster civic development
    - Community service projects are most beneficial when they directly help people with a need
  • Community Service and Civic Development (McMahan, 2009, p. 489)
    • Community service is available to the majority of students in middle school and high school
    • Often required part of curriculum
    • Such programs outcomes are to build active citizens
    • Research:
      • oHeinz Reinders and James Youniss (2006b) longitudinal study
        • § Students required to engage in 20-30 hours of service each year
        • § Results showed increased likelihood of civic engagement
        • Community service has a positive effect on the self-concept

  • Happiness-living a life that is good for one to live and that may include the pursuit of pleasure, the pursuit of meaning, and the pursuit of engagement.
    • Two conceptions of happiness:
      • Hedonism- sees happiness as resulting from pursuit of pleasure
      • Eudaimonia- people are happiest when they give meaning to their lives by developing potentials and using them for the greater good.
      • Engagement- psychological state that accompanies highly involving activities that we refer to as flow .
    • Typically the combination of all three is most effective

  • Happiness levels can be altered by intentional activity. It could be behavioral, cognitive, volitional, or a combination of all three. Those who are happier are also physically and psychologically healthier, more creative and productive, more cooperative, and more prosocial (McMahan, 2009, p. 490).
  • Hope- The capacity to imagine a better life, to want it, and to believe in the possibility that it can be achieved (McMahan, 2009, p. 490)
    • In order to increase chances of achieving happiness, adolescents must first be able to hope (McMahan, 2009, p. 490)
    • Hope helps adolescents be better able to formulate goals, make plans, and begin to take charge of their lives (McMahan, 2009, p. 490)

  • Extracurricular Activities
    • Promote personal growth and positive development (McMahan, 2009, p. 481)
      • Can explore talents and interests while develop skills outside of school curriculum
      • Opportunity to connect with adults other than family members, which provides a source of additional support and guidance
      • Develops teamwork and leadership skills by forcing adolescents to consider different perspectives and engage in shared decision making
    • Extracurricular activities should meet the following criteria (McMahan, 2009, p. 483)
      • Encourage positive and sustained relationships between adolescents and adults
      • Include activities that build competencies and skills
      • Provide opportunities to use these skills in community based activities


Perceived social inadequacy and depressed mood in adolescents

Elgar, F. J., & Arlett, C. (2002). Perceived Social Inadequacy and Depressed Mood in Adolescents. Journal Of Adolescnce, 25 (3), 301-05

Examines the relationship between perceived social inadequacy and depressedmood in a sample of community adolescents . The Checklist ofAdolescent Problem Situations (CAPS) and Children's Depression Inventory (CDI) were administered to 224 high-school students on two occasions 4 months apart. Results indicated that perceived social inadequacy in adolescents is stable over time, independent of its association with depressedmood . (Contains 21 references and 1 table. ) (GCP)

This study finds that there is a relationship between social inadequacy and depressed adolescents. Additionally, they have more conflict then their non-depressed classmates. Additionally, there is a correlation between depression and males verse females.

==Personality, Peer Relations, and Self-Confidence as predictors of happiness and loneliness==

Cheng, H., & Furnham, A. (2002). Personality, Peer Relations, and Self-Confidence as Predictors of Happiness and Loneliness. Journal of Adolescence, 25 (3), 327-39.

Examines to what extent peer relations , self - confidence , and school performance correlate with self -rated happiness and loneliness in adolescents.Personality traits, self - confidence , friendship, and school grades were all significantly oppositely correlated with happiness and loneliness .Regressional analysis revealed that extraversion and neuroticism were direct predictors of happiness and self - confidence , while psychoticism and extraversion were direct predictors of loneliness . (Contains 50 references and 2 tables. ) (GCP)

This study shows that extraversion is a significant indicator and predictor to happiness. Additionally, it is also a direct and indirect forecaster of loneliness. The authors continue to discuss how friendship and self-confidence can lead to happiness as well.

Personality, Peer Q1.pdf
Personality, Peer Q1.pdf
Personality, Peer Q1.pdf

Perceived Family Support, Acculturation, and Life Satisfaction in Mexican

American Youth: A Mixed-Methods Exploration

Lisa M. Edwards

Marquette University
Shane J. Lopez
University of Kansas

In this article, the authors describe a mixed-methods study designed to explore perceived family support,
acculturation, and life satisfaction among 266 Mexican American adolescents. Specifically, the authors
conducted a thematic analysis of open-ended responses to a question about life satisfaction to understand
participants’ perceptions of factors that contributed to their overall satisfaction with life. The authors also
conducted hierarchical regression analyses to investigate the independent and interactive contributions of
perceived support from family and Mexican and Anglo acculturation orientations on life satisfaction.
Convergence of mixed-methods findings demonstrated that perceived family support and Mexican
orientation were significant predictors of life satisfaction in these adolescents. Implications, limitations,
and directions for further research are discussed.
Keywords: Mexican American adolescents, life satisfaction, family support, Latino, acculturation
happy 3.pdf
happy 3.pdf
happy 3.pdf

Religion in the Home in the 1980s and 1990s : A Meta-Analytic Review and Conceptual Analysis of Links Between Religion, Marriage, and Parenting

Ninety-five percent of married couples ( Glenn, 1982 ) and parents ( Mahoney, 2000 ) in the United States report having a religious affiliation. In addition, many married American women and men attend church at least once a month (60% and 53%, respectively) and believe the Bible is the answer to all important human problems (49% and 42%; Heaton & Pratt, 1990 ). Such data imply that religion is an important aspect of many families' lives. However, the way in which religion may shape marital or parent–child relationships has received only sporadic consideration by social scientists throughout this century ( Jenkins, 1992 ). Psychologists, in particular, appear to have devoted little attention to this topic. For instance, only 17 of the 94 studies we located for this review were published by psychologists. 1 Furthermore, psychologists report relatively low personal religiousness (e.g., 33% agree that religious faith is the most important influence in their life vs. 72% of the general population; Bergin & Jensen, 1990 ); as a result, they may overlook the impact of religion on marriage and parenting in research and clinical endeavors with families ( Shafranske & Malony, 1990 ). Nevertheless, psychologists have much to offer and gain by becoming acquainted with the growing theory and research about religion and families ( Sherkat & Ellison, 1999 ).

Summary, religion can aide happiness

Mahoney, A., Pargament, K. I., Tarakeshwar, N., & Swank, A. B. (2008). Religion in the home in the 1980s and 1990s: A meta-analytic review and conceptual analysis of links between religion, marriage, and parenting. Psychology Of Religion And Spirituality , S (1), 63-101. doi:10.1037/1941-1022.S.1.63

If We Are So Rich, Why Aren't We Happy?

Ever since systematic thought has been recorded, the question

of what makes men and women happy has been of

central concern. Answers to this question have ranged from

the materialist extreme of searching for happiness in external

conditions to the spiritual extreme claiming that

happiness is the result of a mental attitude. Psychologists

have recently rediscovered this topic. Research supports

both the materialist and the mentalist positions, although

the latter produces the stronger findings. The article focuses

in particular on one dimension of happiness: the flow

experience, or the state of total involvement in an activity

that requires complete concentration.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1999). If we are so rich, why aren't we happy?. American Psychologist , 54 (10), 821-827. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.54.10.821

Summary- flow, doing something for itself, offers caveats

1. The Pursuit of Happiness Can Be Lonely

Mauss, I. B., Savino, N. S., Anderson, C. L., Weisbuch, M., Tamir, M., & Laudenslager, M. L. (2011). The pursuit of happiness can be lonely. Emotion , doi:10.1037/a0025299

Abstract: Few things seem more natural and functional than wanting to be happy. We suggest that, counter to this intuition, valuing happiness may have some surprising negative consequences. Specifically, because striving for personal gains can damage connections with others and because happiness is usually defined in terms of personal positive feelings (a personal gain) in western contexts, striving for happiness might damage people's connections with others and make them lonely. In 2 studies, we provide support for this hypothesis. Study 1 suggests that the more people value happiness, the lonelier they feel on a daily basis (assessed over 2 weeks with diaries). Study 2 provides an experimental manipulation of valuing happiness and demonstrates that inducing people to value happiness leads to relatively greater loneliness, as measured by self-reports and a hormonal index (progesterone). In each study, key potential confounds, such as positive and negative affect, were ruled out. These findings suggest that wanting to be happy can make people lonely. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR)

Summary: This article is relatable to the dilemma about how to become a happier person. The present study found that actually wanting to be happier can make you lonely. This means that wanting to be happier can actually have the opposite effect than being happy. The researchers that the desire for happiness decreases happiness because it evokes loneliness and loneliness is one of the strongest negative predictors of happiness and well-being.
The pursuit of happiness can be lonely.pdf
The pursuit of happiness can be lonely.pdf
The pursuit of happiness can be lonely.pdf

2. To Do or to Have? That is the Question

Van Boven, L., & Gilovich, T. (2003). To Do or to Have? That Is the Question. Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology , 85 (6), 1193-1202. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.85.6.1193

Abstract: Do experiences make people happier than material possessions? In two surveys, respondents from various demographic groups indicated that experiential purchases-those made with the primary intention of acquiring a life experience--made them happier than material purchases. In a follow-up laboratory experiment, participants experienced more positive feelings after pondering an experiential purchase than after pondering a material purchase. In another experiment, participants were more likely to anticipate that experiences would make them happier than material possessions after adopting a temporally distant, versus a temporally proximate, perspective. The discussion focuses on evidence that experiences make people happier because they are more open to positive reinterpretations, are a more meaningful part of one's identity, and contribute more to successful social relationships. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR)

Summary: The first article I posted did not provide any information on to be happier, just information to know that wanting to be happy really doesn't make you any happier. This article, however, actually sheds light onto what we can do to become happier. This article provides information on why people are happier when the have experiential purchases (doing activities) verses buying material purchases) They found:
1.) Experiences are more open to positive reinterpretation
Experiences allow more open interpretation verses material possession. These interpretation and evaluations are also sustainable long-term.
2.) Experiences are more central to one's identity A person's life is the sum of his or her experiences. So to sum it up: Richer experiences=richer life 3.) Experiences have greater “social value.” Lastly, experiences are more pleasurable to talk about and help build successful social relationships. These social relationships are closely associated with happiness.

To Do or to Have.pdf
To Do or to Have.pdf
To Do or to Have.pdf

3. Three Ways to Be Happy: Pleasure, Engagement, and Meaning--Findings from Australian and US Samples
Vella-Brodrick, D. A., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2009). Three Ways to Be Happy: Pleasure, Engagement, and Meaning--Findings from Australian and US Samples. Social Indicators Research, 90(2), 165-179.

This study examined the contributions of orientations to happiness (pleasure, engagement and meaning) to subjective well-being. A sample of 12,622 adults from the United States completed on-line surveys measuring orientations to happiness, positive affect, negative affect, and life satisfaction. A sample of 332 adults from Australia also completed these surveys as well as a measure of the big five factor personality traits. Hierarchical regressions generally supported the hypothesis that the three orientations to happiness predict subjective well-being (satisfaction with life, positive affect and negative affect) beyond sociodemographic variables and personality.Meaning and engagement explained the greatest variance in all three components of subjective well-being. Overall, these findings support the importance of a eudaimonic approach in addition to the hedonic approach to achieving happiness. Moreover, findings were relatively consistent in both the Australian and US samples.

Summary: This article is a good resource on a number of levels. First of all, the introduction is well done and gives good insight into hedonism, eudaimonia, and flow. This study recognizes that there is more to happiness than personality and sociodemographics and looks to evaluate and assign value to methods of well-being and happiness. This article showed how previous research was strong in the way of hedonism or pleasure seeking, but this study reveals that in Americans happiness and well being are related more closely to meaning of life and engagement in meaningful activities.

Three Ways to Be happy
3 ways to be happy.pdf
3 ways to be happy.pdf
3 ways to be happy.pdf

4. Very Happy Youths: Benefits of Very High Life Satisfaction Among Adolescents
Proctor, C., Linley, P., & Maltby, J. (2010). Very Happy Youths: Benefits of Very High Life Satisfaction among Adolescents. Social Indicators Research, 98(3), 519-532.

This study investigated the characteristics of adolescents reporting very high levels of life satisfaction. Participants (N = 410) were divided into three life satisfaction groups: very high (top 10%), average (middle 25%), and very low (lowest 10%). Results revealed that very happy youths had significantly higher mean scores on all included school, interpersonal, and intrapersonal variables, and significantly lower mean scores on depression, negative affect, and social stress than youths with average and very low levels of life satisfaction. Life meaning, gratitude, self-esteem, and positive affect were found to have a significantly more positive influence on global life satisfaction for the very unhappy than the very happy . Findings suggest that very unhappy youths would benefit most from focused interventions aimed at boosting those variables having the most influence on their level of life satisfaction. Results are discussed in light of previous findings and suggestions for future directions are briefly discussed.

Summary: This [[#|study]] is a good look at adolescents with low, mid, and high level of life satisfaction. This is important in relation to the question because a high level of life satisfaction can be correlated to happiness. In this article, the researches demonstrate that participants in each of the three levels of satisfaction show similar characteristics in regards to their involvement and feelings toward aspects of their life. One of the applicable conclusions of this article is the importance to find what aspects of someone's life is causing them low levels of satisfaction or unhappiness and to conduct and intervention to help raise levels of satisfaction in that aspect of life, say school or friends. This would be important with the sibling int the question to try to pin-point what exactly is leading to boredom or what is causing ambiguous feelings.

Very Happy Youths.pdf
Very Happy Youths.pdf
Very Happy Youths.pdf

5. Pursuing Happiness in Everyday Life: The Characteristics and Behaviors of Online Happiness Seekers
Parks, A. C., Della Porta, M. D., Pierce, R. S., Zilca, R., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2012, May 28). Pursuing Happiness in Everyday Life: The Characteristics and Behaviors of Online Happiness Seekers. Emotion . Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0028587

Abstract: Although the last decade has witnessed mounting research on the development and evaluation of positive interventions, investigators still know little about the target population of such interventions: happiness seekers. The present research asked three questions about happiness seekers: (1) What are their general characteristics? (2) What do they purposefully do to become happier? and (3) How do they make use of self-help resources? In Study 1, we identified two distinct clusters of online happiness seekers. In Study 2, we asked happiness seekers to report on their use of 14 types of happiness-seeking behaviors. In Study 3, we tracked happiness seekers’ usage of an iPhone application that offered access to eight different happiness-increasing activities, and assessed their resulting happiness and mood improvements. Together, these studies provide a preliminary portrait of happiness seekers’ characteristics and naturalistic behaviors.

Summary: This research has a couple of goals in mind. First to figure out who in today’s society is seeking happiness? Once they determined if the participants were distressed or not, they then investigated how people use happiness-increasing activities in their everyday lives. The participants stated that the activity most meaningful toward them was “nurturing my social relationships.” Lastly researchers had participants use a mobile application that allowed users to practice happiness activities in their daily lives.
Pursuing Happiness.pdf
Pursuing Happiness.pdf
Pursuing Happiness.pdf

6. Stress and happiness among adolescents with varying frequency of physical activity.
Moljord, I., Eriksen, L., Moksnes, U., & Espnes, G. (2011). Stress and happiness among adolescents with varying frequency of physical activity. Perceptual And Motor Skills , 113 (2), 631-646.

Abstract: The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate associations between physical activity, stress, and happiness , as well as possible sex and age differences on these variables in a survey of 1,508 adolescent pupils (13 to 18 yr.) in middle Norway. Adolescents who reported they participated in physical activity 2 to 3 times per week or more scored significantly lower on stress and higher on happiness than those who participated in physical activity 1 day per week or less. There was no significant difference on stress and happiness between those being physically active 2 or 3 times a week and those being active almost every day. There was no sex difference in physical activity frequency. Girls had higher mean scores on stress, and boys scored higher on happiness . Adolescents 15 to 16 years old showed higher stress scores than those 17 to 18 years old, but there were no significant differences between the different age groups when looking at happiness and physical activity. A statistically significant two-way interaction of sex by age was found on both stress and happiness .(PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR)

Summary: This [[#|study]] proves that adolescents who engage in high-to-moderate physical activity report significantly lower stress and higher happiness than those adolescents who reported engaging in low to no physical activity. Schools should be focusing on incorporating at much physical activity into the curriculum as possible to promote motivation and interest in participation among adolescent students.

Stress and Happiness with Physical Activity.pdf
Stress and Happiness with Physical Activity.pdf
Stress and Happiness with Physical Activity.pdf

7. Please May I Have a Bike? Better Yet, May I Have a Hug? An Examination of Children's and Adolescents' Happiness
Chaplin, L. (2009). Please may I have a bike? Better yet, may I have a hug? An examination of children's
and adolescents' happiness. J ournal of Happiness Studies, 10 (5), 541-562.

Abstract :
Academic research on children’s and adolescents happiness has been slow to develop. This research provides an empirical investigation to answer the question, “What makes children and adolescents happy?” We explore this question in two studies with a total of 300 participants ages 8–18. Study 1 asks participants to answer the open-ended question, “What makes me happy?” There were five emergent themes—“people and pets,” “achievements,” “material things,” “hobbies,” and “sports”. Study 2 also asks participants to answer the question, “What makes me happy?”, but uses two different measures (a semi-structured thought listing task and a collage task).Using three different happiness measures, we found consistent age differences in what children perceive to make them happy.

Using two different survey designs, this articles answers the question of what make children and adolescents happy. Through individual surveys asking participants "What makes people happy?" the researchers found that late adolescents (in 11th and 12th grade) listed achievement and then people or pets as high themes to happiness. Using the questions, "What makes me happy" and asking students to construct a collage choosing appropriate pictures or words, the late adolescents again ranked people and pets and achievement as high themes of happiness. The late adolescent scoring is a shift away from children's and middle schoolers rankings of material things as high. Although, in both surveys all groups had people and pets has high happiness indicators, showing that companionship is important to people's perceived happiness
Please May I Have a Bike.pdf
Please May I Have a Bike.pdf
Please May I Have a Bike.pdf

8. Is the Study of Happiness a Worthy Scientific Pursuit?

Norrish, J. M., & Vella-Brodrick, D. A. (2008). Is the Study of Happiness a Worthy Scientific Pursuit?. Social Indicators Research, 87(3), 393-407.

Abstract :This paper critiques the view that the study of happiness is not a worthy scientific pursuit. The happiness set point and hedonic treadmill theories denote the complexity of increasing happiness levels due to genetic limitations and adaptation, however, there is mounting evidence to suggest that with the use of appropriate measures and specific interventions aimed at fostering strengths and virtues, happiness can be increased. Furthermore, the benefits of investigating methods for increasing happiness include improvements in physical, psychological and social health and well-being. It is concluded that approaching human needs from a top down or holistic standpoint where individuals can use their strengths to overcome life's challenges, is beneficial to health and well-being. Hence, the study of happiness is a worthy scientific pursuit.

Summary : This paper discusses the fact that happiness can be increased through improvements in physical, psychological, and social health and well-being. The claim is made that studying human needs holistically and helping people learn to use their strengths to overcome challenges can improve health and well-being.
Is the Study of Happiness a Worthy Scientific Pursuit?.pdf
Is the Study of Happiness a Worthy Scientific Pursuit?.pdf
Is the Study of Happiness a Worthy Scientific Pursuit?.pdf

9. The Relative Age Effect and the Development of Self-Esteem?

A recent paper has demonstrated a relationship between suicide during the teen years and the age, relative to one's classmates, at which these individuals entered school. This represents the latest, and perhaps most important, of a series of studies that have focused on the effects of grouping children by age of entry into particular activities. This phenomenon, known as the relative age effect, is strikingly evident in activities that are competitive and where performance is highly correlated with age and level of maturity. To date, relative age research has reported significant and substantial achievement differences within the confines of athletic and academic pursuits. However, with the advent of the study noted above, it now appears that emotional development is also implicated. Here we demonstrate that a relatively young age of entry into the formal educational system is associated with reduced self- esteem several years later. This suggests that self - esteem (or a related factor, such as self -efficacy) serves as an important factor lying functionally between proximal relative age effects and suicide.

This research article focuses on the self-esteem of adolescents, grades one through six, from broken and non-broken homes. Results determined that being from a broken or non-broken home had less effect on self-esteem, and that the greatest impact on self-esteem revolved around the age in which children entered first grade. Researchers found that adolescents who entered first grade at an older age sustained a higher level of self-esteem. The authors of the article seem to think that the additional year of maturation has beneficial effects when children enter the competitive realm of the classroom.

Thompson, A., Barnsley, R., & Battle, J. (2004). The Relative Age Effect and the Development of Self-Esteem. Educational Research , 46 (3), 313-320.

Development of Self-Esteem.pdf
Development of Self-Esteem.pdf
Development of Self-Esteem.pdf

10. Calls to Teen Line

Boehm, K. E., Schondel, C. K., Ivoska, W. J., Marlowe, A. L., & Manke-Mitchell, L. (1998). Calls to Teen Line: Representative Concerns of Adolescents.Adolescence , 33 (132), 797-803.

The concerns of teenagers calling a [[#|peer]] listening phone service have previously been documented (Boehm & Campbell, 1995; Boehm, Chessare, Valko, & Sager, 1991; Boehm, Schondel, Marlowe, & Rose, 1995). The purpose of the present study was to determine if those calls were representative of the concerns of teenagers in the area served. Calls to Teen Line from September 1993 to May 1994 were compared with responses to selected questions from the 1994 Chemical Abuse Reduced through Education and Services (C.A.R.E.S.) student [[#|survey]], which was administered to a random sample of fifth- through twelfth-grade students. The most frequent calls to Teen Line pertained to peer relationships, sexuality, family problems, the need to have someone "just to talk to," self-esteem, and drugs and alcohol. Results of the survey indicated that students' biggest concerns, and the concerns for which they would call a hotline, involved family problems, peer relationships, self-esteem, and school problems. While there were some differences, it appears that the calls to Teen Line were representative. Teenagers were more concerned about [[#|relationship]] and esteem issues than about high-risk behaviors.

Summary: Authors analyze data about the poulation of teens calling a [[#|teen help]] line, and the reasons why the teens called. Results showed that there were a variety of reasons for teens to call, and suicide took up 3% of the phone calls. A survey of teens in the service are of the helpline indicate that teens consider suicide to be only 30% of the biggest issues facing teens today.

Teen helpline.pdf
Teen helpline.pdf
Teen helpline.pdf

11. Classifying Adolescents' Conceptions of Purpose in Life

Hill, P.L., Burrow, A.L., O'Dell, A.C., & Thornton, M.A.(2010). Classifying adolescents' conceptions of purpose in life. Journal of Positive Psychology , 5(6), p. 466-473. Doi:


Motivating youth to find a purpose in life promotes positive youth development. However, it is as yet uncertain whether adolescents think of purpose in ways similar to researchers. This study addressed this deficit by asking 229 adolescents from a Catholic and a public high school to define what it means to have a purpose in life, using a free-response format. Almost all adolescents suggested that having a purpose gives one a foundation and a direction for life, and over half mentioned that it led to increased happiness . In addition, adolescents often mentioned elements from multiple coding categories, suggesting that they hold multifaceted conceptions of purpose. In addition, definitions were marked by their similarities rather than differences across the sample. Overall, these results suggest that adolescents hold mature and complex conceptions of purpose that are in line with those presented in the existing research literature.


This article describes a [[#|study]] that investigates the way in which adolescents view the purpose of life. The researchers had students from a Catholic school and a public school complete a questionnaire that required them to respond to multiple scales, as well as describe what they felt the purpose of life was. After the data was analyzed, it was discovered that at least one-sixth of the participants identified one of the predetermined categories, which included Foundation & Direction, Happiness, Prosocial, Religion and Occupational/Financial. Further analysis of the responses noted that the students most commonly mentioned Foundation & Direction as the primary purpose of life. As a result, adolescents have shown to present the same definitions to the purpose of life as adults.
Classifying adolescents' conceptions of purpose of life.pdf
Classifying adolescents' conceptions of purpose of life.pdf
Classifying adolescents' conceptions of purpose of life.pdf

12. Close Relationships and Happiness Among Emerging Adults

Demir, M.(2010).Close relationships and happiness among emerging adults. Journal of Happiness Studies, 11(3), p. 293-313. Doi: 10.1007/s10902-009-9141-x


The present investigation examined the role of multiple close relationships (mother, father, best friend, and romantic partner, if any) in happiness among emerging adults with and without a romantic partner. The results for those without a partner ( n = 152) revealed that only the relationship experiences with mother and best friend were predictive of happiness . On the other hand, the findings for those with a partner ( n = 159) showed that only three factors, namely mother–child relationship quality, romantic relationship quality and conflict were predictive of happiness . The results for this group also suggested that romantic relationship quality was protective of best friendship conflict; moreover, best friendship quality did not buffer the negative impact of romantic partner conflict on happiness , suggesting a less important role of best friends in happiness . In other words, the findings suggest that when emerging adults are involved in a romantic relationship, friends’ importance in happiness might be less pronounced or not pronounced at all. The results were discussed in light of the literature and suggestions were made for future research.


This is an interesting article that investigates the impact a romantic partner has on a person's happiness in comparison to other significant relationships. Although there is evidence that adolescents and young adults hold friendships and romantic relationships as top priorities to their happiness, the relationships with family members, especially the mother, play an important role. After analyzing questionnaires from 311 students from a Midwestern university, Demir concluded that the quality of the relationship between a person's mother and best friend relationships were the only predictors of happiness in those without a romantic partner, whereas these two relationships still remained important predictors of happiness if the person had a romantic partner.

Close relationships and happiness among emerging adults.pdf
Close relationships and happiness among emerging adults.pdf
Close relationships and happiness among emerging adults.pdf

13. The satisfaction with life scale: Psychometrics properties in an adolescent scale
Neto, F. (1993). The satisfaction with life scale: Psychometrics properties in an adolescent sample. Journal of Youth and Adolescence , 22 (2), 125-134. Retrieved from

The Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) was developed in the United States as a multiitem scale for the overall assessment of life satisfaction as cognitive-judgmental process, rather as a measurement of specific satisfaction areas (e.g., health, energy). The present study attempted to extend the applicability of the SWLS by investigating specific aspects of reliability and validity in a different cultural context (Portugal) with adolescents. In line with previous American findings, reliability figures were found to be favourable. SWLS scores were affected by sex and sociocultural level. In addition, SWLS scores showed to be predictably associated with psychological measures: loneliness, social anxiety, shyness, self- concept, and physical attractiveness. The variables that best predicted satisfaction were overall self-concept, loneliness, and physical attractiveness

By comparing results of the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) from Portugal and the United States, researchers found that adolescents with the highest satisfaction in their life had a higher overall self-concept, lower loneliness, and confidence in their physical appearance. Other factors associated with psychological measures included social anxiety and shyness. They noticed that SWLS scores were affected by sex and sociocultural level.

14.The Hedonistic Paradox: Is homo economicus happier?
Konow, J., & Earley, J. (2006). The hedonistic paradox: Is homo economicus happier?. Journal Of Public Economics , 92 (1-2), 1-33.

The “Hedonistic Paradox” states that homo economicus , or someone who seeks happiness for him- or herself, will not find it, but the person who helps others will. This study examines two questions in connection with happiness and generosity. First, do more generous people, as identified in dictator experiments, report on average greater happiness, or subjective well-being (SWB), as measured by responses to various questionnaires? Second, if the answer is affirmative, what is the causal relationship between generosity and happiness? We find a favorable correlation between generosity and happiness (i.e., SWB is directly related to several measures of happiness and inversely related to unhappiness) and examine various possible explanations, including that material well-being causes both happiness and generosity. The evidence from this experiment, however, indicates that a tertiary personality variable, sometimes called psychological well-being, is the primary cause of both happiness and greater generosity. In contrast to field studies, the experimental method of this inquiry permits anonymity measures designed to minimize subject misrepresentation of intrinsic generosity (e.g., due to social approval motives) and of actual happiness (e.g., because of social desirability biases) and produces a rich data set with multiple measures of subjective, psychological and material well-being. The results of this and other studies raise the question of whether greater attention should be paid to the potential benefits (beyond solely the material ones) of policies that promote charitable donations, volunteerism, service education, and, more generally, community involvement, political action, and social institutions that foster psychological well-being.

This article discusses the correlation between happiness, self concept, self esteem and generosity or volunteering. The authors not only look at the difference between extrinsic behaviors (working to get money) and intrinsic behaviors (satisfying in and of itself), but also the effects both have on long term happiness.

The Hedonistic Paradox.pdf
The Hedonistic Paradox.pdf
The Hedonistic Paradox.pdf

15. Why Are SomePeopleHappier than Others? The Role of Cognitive and Motivational Processes in Well-being.

Lyubomirsky, S. (2001). Why are some people happier than others? the role of cognitive and motivational processes in well-being. American Psychologist ,56
(3), 239-249.


Proposes that multiple cognitive and motivational processes moderate the impact of the objective environment on well-being. Explores hedonically relevant psychological processes (social comparison, dissonance reduction, self-reflection, self-evaluation, and personal perception) in chronically happy and unhappy people, noting that they differ systematically in the particular cognitive and motivational strategies they use. Future research directions are examined

Summary : This article discusses possible reasons that some people seem to be happier than others even when faced with traumatic experiences. The author does a comparison between people that consider themselves and those who consider themselves unhappy. She believes that positive thinking and being adaptive are crucial elements in being happy. Her findings show a correlation between attitude and perception of happiness.

Why are some people happier than others.pdf
Why are some people happier than others.pdf
Why are some people happier than others.pdf

16. Happy Adolescents: The Link Between Subjective Well-Being, Internal Resources, and Parental Factors
Ben-Zur, H. (2003). Happy adolescents: The link between subjective well-being, internal resources, and parental factors. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 32, 67-79.

Abstract: The research investigates the associations of personal and parental factors with subjective well-being (SWB) in adolescents on the basis of 2 studies. The first included 97 university students and 185 adolescents who completed questionnaires measuring perceived mastery, dispositional optimism, and affect used as a measure of SWB. Correlations and hierarchical regression analyses showed mastery and optimism to be negatively associated with negative affect (NA) and positively associated with positive affect (PA). Demographic variables did not relate to PA and NA except for gender, with female adolescents showing higher levels of NA than males. The second study included 121 adolescents and their parents who completed questionnaires measuring mastery, optimism, SWB indicators, and assessments by the adolescents of their relationships with their parents. The associations of the adolescents' mastery and optimism with SWB measures were positive and were similar to those found in the first study. Positive correlations were found between the adolescents' and their parents' SWB (especially with their father's), but no significant associations were observed between adolescents' and parents' mastery and optimism. However, adolescents' mastery and optimism were related to positive relationships with parents. The results highlight the importance of mastery, optimism, and positive adolescent-parent relationships in contributing to the well-being of adolescents. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Summary: This research article aimed to examine factors associated with adolescent well-being. In the first study, questionnaires were used to assess positive and negative affect, mastery (e.g. being in control of one’s life), life orientation (e.g. optimism versus pessimism), and social desirability. In the second study, the researchers examined life satisfaction of parents and their offspring. In addition to the measures used above, questionnaires were also used to assess life satisfaction as well as adolescent-parent relationships. In both studies, researchers found a positive relationship between subjective well-being and adolescent internal resources, thus emphasizing the importance of optimism and mastery on adolescent happiness and well-being.

Happy Adolescents.pdf
Happy Adolescents.pdf
Happy Adolescents.pdf

17. Daily Family Assistance and the Psychological Well-Being of Adolescents From Latin American, Asian, and European Backgrounds.
Telzer, E.,& Fuligni, A. (2009). Daily family assistance and the psychological well-being of adolescents from Latin American, Asian, and European backgrounds. American Psychological Association. 45(4), 1177-1189.

The daily diary method was used to examine the implications of adolescents’ daily assistance behaviors for both positive and negative aspects of psychological well-being among an ethnically diverse sample of 752 adolescents of ages 14 to 15 years. Results indicated that, contrary to the expectations of some observers, providing daily assistance to the family generally was not stressful for adolescents. Rather, assisting the family was associated with higher levels of happiness due, in large part, to the sense of role fulfillment it provided the adolescents. Few individual or group differences were observed in the association between family assistance and psychological well-being. These results suggest that family assistance serves as a meaningful activity in adolescents’ lives by creating a sense of connection to the family.

This study’s goal was to explore if the association of well-being and the importance adolescents place on family assistance and if this differed by ethnic background (using 9th grade participants). Although the ethnic background may or may not pertain to your “sibling,” it is important to note the results of this study. Aiding and assistance your family serves as a meaningful activity in adolescents. Assisting the family may give a sense of connection and a purpose and help increase your sibling’s mood in the long run.
daily family assistance.pdf
daily family assistance.pdf
daily family assistance.pdf

18. Pursuing Happiness: The Architecture of Sustainable Change
Lyubomirsky, S., & Sheldon, K. (2005). Pursuing happiness: The architecture of sustainable change. The Educational Publishing Foundation. 9(2), 111–131.
The pursuit of happiness is an important goal for many people. However, surprisingly little scientific research has focused on the question of how happiness can be increased and then sustained, probably because of pessimism engendered by the concepts of genetic determinism and hedonic adaptation. Nevertheless, emerging sources of optimism exist regarding the possibility of permanent increases in happiness. Drawing on the past well-being literature, the authors propose that a person’s chronic happiness level is governed by 3 major factors: a genetically determined set point for happiness, happiness-relevant circumstantial factors, and happiness-relevant activities and practices. The authors then consider adaptation and dynamic processes to show why the activity category offers the best opportunities for sustainably increasing happiness. Finally, existing research is discussed in support of the model, including 2 preliminary happiness-increasing interventions.

This review address the fact that many Americans rate personal happiness very high in regards to importance. The findings show that older people report being happier than younger people. The review defines three factors to that determines happiness: intentional activity, set point, and circumstances. The review also discusses how you can go about initiating and maintaining intentional activities that will increase your mood and how to choose and activity. I found this section to be the most beneficial for responding and providing information to a sibling.
pursing happiness.pdf
pursing happiness.pdf
pursing happiness.pdf

19. Adolescent turning points: The association between meaning-making and psychological well-being.

Tavernier, R., & Willoughby, T. (2012). Adolescent turning points: The association between meaning-making and psychological well-being. Developmental Psychology, 48(4), 1058-1068


Research findings indicate that the ability to create meaning out of turning points (i.e., significant life experiences) is related to psychological well-being. It is not clear, however, whether individuals who report meaning -making and higher well-being are better adjusted prior to the experience of their turning point event. This study examined whether meaning -making and timing of turning points would be associated with higher scores on well-being. Participants were 418 Grade 12 students (209 of whom reported having had a turning point event and a matched group of 209 adolescents who did not report having had a turning point event). This subset of participants was taken from a larger longitudinal study of 803 (52% female) Grade 12 Canadian students (M age = 17 years). All participants completed well-being measures 3 years prior, when they were in Grade 9. Meaning -making was significantly associated with higher psychological well-being, controlling for Grade 9 scores on well-being. Importantly, adolescents who reported meaning -making in Grade 12 did not differ on well-being prior to the experience of their turning point event, when they were in Grade 9, from adolescents who did not report meaning -making. These findings highlight the importance of examining meaning -making in relation to positive adjustment among adolescents reporting a significant life -changing event. Limitations regarding the use of survey measures and the generalizability of the results to a culturally diverse group of adolescents are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)


This article investigates how adolescents make meaning of turning points in their life, and the effect it has on their well-being. Turning points are significant events in one’s life that change the normal flow. These could include falling in love, breaking up, losing a love one, or traveling on a mission’s trip. The way that an adolescent processes, reflects upon , and makes meaning of the turning point, can effect their well-being in future adolescent years.


Two conceptions of Happiness: Contrasts of Personal Expressiveness (Eudaimonia) and Hedonic Enjoyment

Waterman, A. S. (1993). Two conceptions of happiness: Contrasts of personal expressiveness (eudaimonia) and hedonic enjoyment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 64 (4), 678-691.

Abstract: Aristotle's concept of eudaimonia and hedonic enjoyment constitute 2 philosophical conceptions of happiness. Two studies involving combined samples of undergraduate and graduate students (Study 1, N = 209; Study 2, N = 249) were undertaken to identify the convergent and divergent aspects of these constructs. As expected, there was a strong positive correlation between personal expressiveness (eudaimonia) and hedonic enjoyment. Analyses revealed significant differences between the 2 conceptions of happiness experienced in conjunction with activities for the variables of (a) opportunities for satisfaction, (b) strength of cognitive-affective components, (c) level of challenges, (d) level of skills, and (e) importance. It thus appears that the 2 conceptions of happiness are related but distinguishable and that personal expressiveness, but not hedonic enjoyment, is a signifier of success in the process of self-realization.

Summary: Researchers attempt to determine if there is a difference between eudaimonia and hedonic enjoyment. Researchers were able to determine the both eudaimonia and hedonic enjoyment were experienced as positive cognitive-affective components to a degree, but there were also differences. Personal expressiveness was found to be associated with feeling competent, feeling assertive, know how well one is doing, etc. Hedonic enjoyment is associated with feeling relaxed, content, and forgetting ones personal problems. A stronger association was found with feelings of personal expressiveness than hedonic enjoyment.
two conceptions of happiness.pdf
two conceptions of happiness.pdf
two conceptions of happiness.pdf

21. Adolescent goal content and pursuit: A review of the literature from the past 16 years

Emma K., M., Winifred A., G., & Nadia, G. (n.d). Review: Adolescent goal content and pursuit: A review of the literature from the past 16 years. Developmental Review, 28421-460. doi:10.1016/j.dr.2008.03.002

Abstract: The aim of this article is to provide an overview and discussion of the literature from various areas of psychology on adolescent goal content and pursuit since the publication of Nurmi’s review in 1991. Ninety-four studies were identified which incorporated a measure of adolescent goal content/processes. We explore and discuss the theories employed in these studies, methods of goal measurement, and the findings presented in the studies. Adolescent goal content and pursuit appear to be influenced by various sociodemographic and psychological factors. In turn, goal content, goal pursuit and (un)successful goal attainment are related to adolescent behavior, health and well-being. Limitations and suggestions for further research are discussed.

Summary: This study provided an overview of the most recent literature on the area of adolescent goals and goals pursuit. The researchers were successful at reaching the goal of clarification and understanding of the goals that adolescents strive to achieve, factors which play a role in shaping this motivated behavior and the nature of their relationships with behavior and well- being.
Adolescent Goal Content.pdf
Adolescent Goal Content.pdf
Adolescent Goal Content.pdf

22. Life Satisfaction and Student Engagement in Adolescents

Lewis, A., Huebner, E., Malone, P., & Valois, R. (2011). Life satisfaction and student engagement in adolescents. Journal Of Youth And Adolescence, 40(3), 249-262.

Abstract: Situated within a positive psychology perspective, this study explored linkages between adolescent students’ positive subjective well-being and their levels of engagement in schooling. Specifically, using structural equation modeling techniques, we evaluated the nature and directionality of longitudinal relationships between life satisfaction and student engagement variables. It was hypothesized that adolescents’ life satisfaction and student engagement variables would show bidirectional relation- ships. To test this hypothesis, 779 students (53% female, 62% Caucasian) in a Southeastern US middle school completed a measure of global life satisfaction and measures of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral engagement at two time points, 5 months apart. A statistically significant bidirectional relationship between life satisfaction and cognitive engagement was found; however, non-significant relationships were found between life satisfaction and emotional and behavioral student engagement. The findings provide important evidence of the role of early adolescents’ life satisfaction in their engagement in schooling during the important transition grades between elementary and high school. The findings also help extend the positive psychology perspective to the relatively neglected context of education.

Summary: The purpose of this study was to determine the directionality of the relationship between life satisfaction and multi- dimensional student engagement in adolescents. The participants included all the students from a large middle school in the Southeastern United

Life Satisfaction and Student Engagement in Adolescents.pdf
Life Satisfaction and Student Engagement in Adolescents.pdf
Life Satisfaction and Student Engagement in Adolescents.pdf

Social and Academic Consequences of Birth Order : Real, Artifactual, or Both?
Steelman, L. C., & Powell, B. (1985). Social and academic consequences of birth order: Real, artifactual, or both?. Journal of Marriage & Family , 47 (1), 117-125.
Abstract: In this study the impact of birth order on the social skills and academic performance of children and adolescents is investigated. Using cross-tabular and multiple regression techniques to analyze data from two nationally representative samples, we find no significant relationship between birthorder and academic performance. In contrast, a significant positive relationship between birth order and such social skills as outgoingness, getting along with others, popularity, and ease in making friends is found. In addition, leadership skills appear to be positively related to birth order for males but not for females. The need to control for confounding factors such as number of siblings, a factor that may mask or magnify the effect of birth order , is underscored.
Summary: Researchers found that later born children have an advantage when it comes to social skills (i.e. getting along with other children, outgoingness, popularity, and ease in making friends as assessed by both teachers and parents.

birth order.pdf
birth order.pdf
birth order.pdf


The first sight of love: Relationship-defining memories and marital satisfaction across adulthood
Alea, N., & Vick, S. C. (2010). The first sight of love: Relationship-defining memories and marital satisfaction across adulthood. Memory , 18 (7), 730-742. doi:10.1080/09658211.2010.506443.

Abstract: The current study begins the exploration of relationship-defining memories (i.e., the first time someone met their spouse) across adulthood. Men and women ranging from 20 to 85 years old (N=267; M age=47.19) completed a measure of marital satisfaction, wrote a relationship-defining memory, and answered questions about the quality of their memory (i.e., vividness, valence, emotional intensity, and rehearsal). Data were collected online. Results indicate that individuals over 70 and those younger than 30 rehearsed relationship-defining memories most often. Women in midlife also reported more vivid memories. The quality of relationship-defining memories also predicted marital satisfaction. Relationship-defining memories that were more vivid, positive, emotionally intense, and rehearsed related to higher marital satisfaction. Age and gender differences were minimal. Results are discussed in the context of the adaptive social function of autobiographical memories, such that these memories might have a role in influencing marital satisfaction across adulthood. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Summary: This is a good article which shows the closeness of relationship-defining memories and martial satisfaction across adulthood. The article discusses who has reported these relationship-defining memories and during which stages of life the memories are more vivid. I feel this article goes along well with the some of the love myths that Corey and Corey (2010) discuss in their chapter on love. This article relates especially to the myth that we fall in and out of love. The article shows that these defining memories do not happen at "first sight" and may happen throughout our relationships as we "grow in love."
external image pdf.png
external image pdf.png
The First Sight of Love.pdf

11. Purpose as a Form of Identity Capital for Positive Youth
Burrow, A. L., & Hill, P. L. (2011). Purpose as a form of identity capital for positive youth adjustment.Developmental Psychology, 47 (4), 1196-1206.
Having a sense of purpose has been discussed as a developmental asset for youth and as an outgrowth of establishing a sense of identity. Using the identity capital model as a theoretical framework, 3 studies examined purpose as a mediator in the relationship between identity and well-being among adolescents and emerging adults. In Study 1A, (n _ 110), purpose commitment was positively associated with positive affect, hope, happiness among adolescents, and fully mediated associations between identity commitment and these indices of well-being. These findings were replicated in Study 1B (n _ 398), with a sample of emerging adults and using different measures of well-being. In Study 2, multilevel random coefficient modeling analyses examined the role of identity and purpose in the daily lives of adolescents (n _ 135). Results showed that purpose commitment fully mediated the relationship between identity and changes in daily positive and negative affect. Overall, findings suggest that cultivating a sense of purpose in life may be an important mechanism through which a stable identity contributes to well-being.
This article focuses on the interest in forming positive youth development. The article starts by finding clear identities for adolescents to assist in finding happiness. There is assistance in finding the adolescent sense in wherewithal and self-direction. The article goes to state by assisting in finding identity; adolescents are better able and aware to set attainable goals. By focusing on identity and positive self, the adolescents will be able to find a better sense of self.

identity and happiness.pdf

identity and happiness.pdf

identity and happiness.pdf
12. Becoming Happier Takes Both a Will and a Proper Way: An Experimental Longitudinal Intervention to Boost Well-Being

Lyubomirsky, S., Dickerhoof, R., Boehm, J. K., & Sheldon, K. M. (2011). Becoming happier takes both a will and a proper way: An experimental longitudinal intervention to boost well-being.Emotion, 11 (2), 391-402.
An 8-month-long experimental study examined the immediate and longer term effects of regularly practicing two assigned positive activities (expressing optimism and gratitude) on well-being. More important, this intervention allowed us to explore the impact of two metafactors that are likely to influence the success of any positive activity: whether one self-selects into the study knowing that it is about increasing happiness and whether one invests effort into the activity over time. Our results indicate that initial self-selection makes a difference, but only in the two positive activity conditions, not the control, and that continued effort also makes a difference, but, again, only in the treatment conditions. We conclude that happiness interventions are more than just placebos, but that they are most successful when participants know about, endorse, and commit to the intervention.
This research study works on finding ways of happiness through different activities such as preferred activities and random acts of kindness. The study looks at the type of activities which would increase hedonic and happiness bolstering frequencies. There is also a look at the correlation of positive reinforcement from friends and family, to increase happiness.

13. The costly pursuit of self-esteem.
Crocker, J. & Park, L. E. (2004). The costly pursuit of self-esteem. Psychological Bulletin, 130 (2), 392-414.

Abstract: Researchers have recently questioned the benefits associated with having high self-esteem. The authors propose that the importance of self-esteem lies more in how people strive for it rather than whether it is high or low. They argue that in domains in which their self-worth is invested, people adopt the goal to validate their abilities and qualities, and hence their self-worth. When people have self-validation goals, they react to threats in these domains in ways that undermine learning; relatedness; autonomy and self-regulation; and over time, mental and physical health. The short-term emotional benefits of pursuing self-esteem are often outweighed by long-term costs. Previous research on self-esteem is reinterpreted in terms of self-esteem striving. Cultural roots of the pursuit of self-esteem are considered. Finally, the alternatives to pursuing self-esteem, and ways of avoiding its costs, are discussed.
Summary: The pursuit of self-esteem has become a central preoccupation in American culture. The desire to believe that we are worthy or valuable drives our behavior and shapes how we think about ourselves, people, and events in our lives. When people pursue self-esteem, their actions are guided by beliefs about what they need to do or be to have worth and value. They pursue self-esteem to help them manage their fears and worries. High self-esteem has been related to greater feelings of belongingness, competence, and optimism. However, no amount of success can guarantee our self-worth. Furthermore, when people seek to protect, maintain, and enhance their self-esteem, they lose the ability to act autonomously, because their self-esteem becomes contingent upon the ways others view them.

Pursuit of Self-Esteem.pdf
Pursuit of Self-Esteem.pdf
Pursuit of Self-Esteem.pdf

14. Helping older adolescents search for meaning in depression.
Blair, R. G. (2004). Helping older adolescents search for meaning in depression. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 26 (4), 333-347.

Abstract: This paper examines some ways that logotherapy (Frankl, 1984) can be used with older adolescents struggling with depression. The focus of treatment is on the adolescent's initiating and sustaining a search for meaning.

Summary: According to Erikson, the major crisis of adolescence is a search for a consistent identity that includes identification of and adherence to the values and behaviors associated with that identity. Developing this identity is often difficult, as adolescents often feel confused and conflicted about what they should do and who they can trust. Adolescents recurrently conform to the values of their peers, even when these values are in opposition to their own personal beliefs. As a consequence of acting outside their own value system, these adolescents often feel in conflict with themselves and develop symptoms of depression. Many also struggle to find meaning in their lives. As they discover and pursue meaning, they development of future goals that will direct their behavior.

Adolescents Search for Meaning.pdf
Adolescents Search for Meaning.pdf
Adolescents Search for Meaning.pdf

Pursuing Pleasure or Virtue: The Differential and Overlapping Well-Being Benefits of Hedonic and Eudaimonic Motives
Huta, V., Ryan, R. M. (2010). Pursuing pleasure or virtue: The differential and overlapping well-being benefits of hedonic and eudaimonic motives. Journal of Happiness Studies, 11 , 735–762.

Abstract :Hedonia (seeking pleasure and comfort) and eudaimonia (seeking to use and develop the best in oneself) are often seen as opposing pursuits, yet each may contribute to
well-being in different ways. We conducted four studies (two correlational, one experience-sampling, and one intervention study) to determine outcomes associated with activities motivated by hedonic and eudaimonic aims. Overall, results indicated that: between persons (at the trait level) and within persons (at the momentary state level), hedonic pursuits related more to positive affect and carefreeness, while eudaimonic pursuits related more to meaning; between persons, eudaimonia related more to elevating experience (awe, inspiration, and sense of connection with a greater whole); within persons, hedonia related more negatively to negative affect; between and within persons, both pursuits related equally to vitality; and both pursuits showed some links with life satisfaction, though hedonia’s links were more frequent. People whose lives were high in both eudaimonia and hedonia had: higher degrees of most well-being variables than people whose lives were low in both pursuits (but did not differ in negative affect or carefreeness); higher positive affect and carefreeness than predominantly eudaimonic individuals; and higher meaning, elevating experience, and vitality than predominantly hedonic individuals. In the intervention study, hedonia produced more well-being benefits at short-term follow-up, while eudaimonia produced more at 3-month follow-up. The findings show that hedonia and eudaimonia occupy both overlapping and distinct niches within a complete picture of wellbeing, and their combination may be associated with the greatest well-being. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Summary : The article examines four studies and finds that eudaimonic and hedonic pursuits overlapped as well as had some individual distinctions. Generally, the two complement each other and a combination of the two is said to produce the most positive outcome. The roles of each are discussed in greater detail with eudaimonia being associated with longer-term outcomes. Overall, the article suggests that life satisfaction is related to both hedonia and eudaimonia.

hedonic and eudaimonic motives 7.11.12.pdf
hedonic and eudaimonic motives 7.11.12.pdf
hedonic and eudaimonic motives 7.11.12.pdf

23. The cognitive and hedonic costs of dwelling on achievement-related negative experiences: Implications for enduring happiness and unhappiness.

Lyubomirsky, S., Boehm, J. K., Fazilet, K., & Zehm, K. (2011).
The cognitive and hedonic costs of dwelling on achievement-related negative experiences: Implications for enduring happiness and unhappiness. Emotion. 11 (5), 1152-1167.

Abstract :
Increasing evidence suggests that multiple cognitive and motivational processes underlie individual differences in happiness (Lyubomirsky, 2001, 2008). One behavior that is associated with (un)happiness is self-reflection or dwelling. We hypothesized that unhappy individuals would be inclined to dwell about themselves, and that this behavior would have a variety of adverse consequences. Three studies tested the prediction that, unlike their happier peers, unhappy participants would be sensitive to unfavorable achievement feedback, likely to dwell about its implications and, hence, show impaired attention during important academic tasks. The results of Studies 1 and 2 showed that unhappy participants who had “failed” relative to peers subsequently displayed increased interfering thoughts; spent the most time performing a portion of the graduate record examination; and later demonstrated impaired reading comprehension. Study 3 experimentally induced versus inhibiting dwelling and found that the manipulation only impacted unhappy students. Implications of our results for the consequences of dwelling for work and social functioning, as well as for detracting from enduring happiness, are discussed.

Summary :
The outcome of examining these studies shows that unhappy people are susceptible to negative
achievement-related outcomes, and are more likely to dwell on such outcomes, which result in lowered mood, greater intrusive thoughts, and impaired concentration while performing academic tasks. This research highlights the impact dwelling has on cognitive and hedonic functioning.
The cognitive and hedonic costs of dwellin.pdf
The cognitive and hedonic costs of dwellin.pdf
The cognitive and hedonic costs of dwellin.pdf
Larson, M. (2000). Toward a psychology of positive youth development. American Psychologist, 55, 170-183.
Abstract: This article analyzes the development of initiative as an exemplar of one of many learning experiences that should be studied as part of positive youth development. The capacity for initiative is essential for adults in our society and will become more important in the 21st century, yet adolescents have few opportunities to learn it. Their typical experiences during schoolwork and unstructured leisure do not reflect conditions for learning initiative. The context best suited to the development of initiative appears to be that of structured voluntary activities, such as sports, arts, and participation in organizations, in which youths experience the rare combination of intrinsic motivation in combination with deep attention. An incomplete body of outcome research suggests that such activities are associated with positive development, but the developmental processes involved are only beginning to be understood. One promising approach has recorded language use and has found that adolescents participating in effective organizations acquire a new operating language that appears to correspond to the development of initiative.

Positive youth development, prevention, and positive psychology: Commentary on 'Positive youth development in the United States.

Gillham, J. E., Reivich, K., & Shatté, A. (2002). Positive youth development, prevention, and positive psychology: Commentary on 'Positive youth development in the United States. Prevention & Treatment. 5 (1).

Abstract :
The review of positive youth development programs by R. F. Catalano, M. L. Berglund, J. A. M. Ryan, H. S. Lonczak, and J. D. Hawkins (2002) is an important milestone in positive psychology. It documents the potential power of building strengths and competencies in children. The present commentary explores the relationship of positive psychology to prevention and the broader field of positive psychology. We focus on (a) the ways in which positive youth development can benefit from research recommendations that are commonly made in the treatment and prevention literatures and (b) how prevention science can benefit by incorporating a positive youth development approach. Finally, we suggest that the current field of positive youth development is limited in that it focuses primarily on building strengths to reduce negative outcomes such as substance abuse, violence, teen pregnancy, and academic failure. An important and exciting goal for future programs is to foster an equally broad range of positive outcomes.

Summary :
Helping adolescents develop strengths and competencies is crucial for increased prevention. Prevention programs should not only focus on psychological disorders but should keep in mind other problems that arise for adolescents such as pregnancy and violence. This type of movement encourages those to focus on the positives, a strength-based approach, rather than the negatives (such as behavioral problems). Additionally, this approach focuses on building interventions for universal for all children, in order to reduce stigma.
The cognitive and hedonic costs of dwellin.pdf
The cognitive and hedonic costs of dwellin.pdf
The cognitive and hedonic costs of dwellin.pdf

25. Evaluation of a Psychoeducational Program to Help Adolescents Cope

Hayes, C., & Morgan, M. (2005). Evaluation of a Psychoeducational Program to Help Adolescents Cope. Journal Of Youth And Adolescence, 34(2), 111.

Abstract: Over 20% of a sample of 706 young adolescents identified themselves as experiencing difficulties and being in need of specific help in coping. A psychoeducational Program "Helping Adolescents Cope" was offered to 112 of those. This was adapted, with permission, from the "Coping with Stress Course," devised by Albano et al. (1997). Participants' progress was monitored and evaluated using qualitative and quantitative measures. The psychoeducational Program was found to be significantly effective in reducing participants' depression scores, in reducing their reliance on unproductive means of coping and overall in helping them cope. This article presents the methodology used, key results and discusses the implications of this work for professionals working with adolescents in the area of prevention and coping (PsychINFO Database © 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (Abstract from author).
KEY WORDS: evaluation; psychoeducation; prevention; coping; adolescents; depression.

Summary: A sample of young adolescents who displayed experiences of depression were observed during a psychoeducational program for coping with depression. These individuals demonstrated a reduction in depression scores with the aid of an individualized psychoeducational program. The program exposed them to opening up and relating to others, talking and recognizing their own feelings, changing their thoughts, involvement in fun activities, developing friendships, setting goals, taking action on their plans, and teaching others how to cope. The article goes into further detail on what each step in the program entails. The results demonstrated it’s effectiveness on lowering depression.

Waterman, A. S., Schwartz, S. J., & Conti, R. (2008) The implications of two conceptions of happiness (hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia) for the understanding of intrinsic motivation. Journal of Happiness Studies, 9, 41-79.

Abstract: The distinction between hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia
was evaluated in three data sets involving use of the Personally Expressive
Activities Questionnaire—Standard Form (PEAQ-S) with college student
samples (n> 200 in each sample). Indices of these two conceptions of happiness were strongly and reliably related across the three samples. Differences
between these two conceptions of happiness were evaluated in two ways.
First, we examined and compared correlations of hedonic enjoyment and
eudaimonia with variables related to intrinsic motivation. Zero-order correlations involving hedonic enjoyment were significantly stronger with respect
to measures of self-determination and interest than were the corresponding
correlations involving feelings of personal expressiveness (eudaimonia). In
contrast, correlations involving eudaimonia were significantly stronger with
measures of the balance of challenges and skills, self-realization values, effort,
and importance than were the corresponding correlations with hedonic
enjoyment. Second, we empirically distinguished between activities for which
both hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia are present (intrinsically motivated
activities) and activities for which hedonic enjoyment alone is present
(hedonically enjoyed activities). Intrinsically motivated activities were judged
to be significantly higher with respect to measures of the balance of challenges and skills, self-realization values, effort, importance, interest, and flow
experiences. No differences between the two categories of activities were
found for self-determination and the frequency with which activities were
performed. Given these distinguishable patterns in the two conceptions of
happiness, a reconceptualization for the understanding of intrinsic motivation
is proposed. (Abstract from author)

Summary: Results indicate that both hedonism and eudaimonia produce happiness. Intrinsic motivation was also researched which could be helpful when discussing each component in this question.

III. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES (Video clips, podcasts, lectures, etc.)

  1. Provide link to file or embed on wiki
    1. Provide annotations/summaries of findings/relevance

1. Harvard Medical video: What it takes to be happy

Ronald D. Siegel, Psy.D., assistant clinical professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and editor of Harvard Health Publication's special health report, Positive Psychology, discusses what it takes to be happy. To learn more about Positive Psychology, go to __

Watch Harvard Video here

2.The Happiness Revolution

The Happiness Revolution is a movement for a happier, stronger society, starting with the individual.
If you think you need good grades, lots of money and a high-flying job before you can be happy, you couldn't be further from the truth. Research has shown that happiness isn't just about feeling good, but an important attribute that gives rise to benefits like resilience, optimism and creative growth - this means happiness produces success, not the other way round.
Over the course of two months, we'll be releasing a series of simple tasks. These tasks may be small in nature, but have the potential to create great change in your life, and are all based on the latest research into happiness.
So join the revolution -- take happiness into your own hands.

Watch Happiness Revolution Video Here

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