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Deriving Daily Purpose Through Daily Events and Role Fulfillment Among Asian American Youth

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Requests for reprints should be sent to Lisa Kiang, Wake Forest University, Department of Psychology, P.O. Box 7778, Winston-Salem, NC 27109. E-mail: kiangl@wfu.edu

Abstract

Establishing life purpose is a key developmental task; however, how it is linked to adolescents’ everyday family, school, extracurricular, and leisure experiences remains unclear. Using daily diary data from 180 Asian American ninth and tenth graders (50% ninth; 58% female; 25% first generation), daily purpose was positively related to daily family assistance. Leisure time was negatively associated with purpose, especially for first-generation adolescents. Social role fulfillment (e.g., feeling like a good son or daughter) also contributed to daily purpose. Implications extended into daily affect, with positive associations with happiness, and negative associations with distress and anxiety. Results suggest that promoting social connectedness and activities that allow adolescents to feel like a valued family member may best foster youth purpose development.

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