Adolescence is a critical and formative stage of life characterized by the development of interests, values, long-term goals, and social affiliations that serve as the foundation for more mature identity formation. Growing evidence supports the importance of meaning in life and of positivity as protective factors during adolescence that facilitate coping and thriving. The present study builds on previous research to explore the relationship between adolescents' authentic inner compass (AIC; having self-directed values, aspirations, interests, and goals that are experienced as authentic), well-being, and the prioritization of positivity and meaning. Findings from a sample of 677 adolescents (50.7% girls; mean age = 13.88) indicate that a higher AIC score is related to higher prioritization of meaning and higher prioritization of positivity, which are positively related to subjective well-being (SWB). Furthermore, having an AIC was found to contribute to adolescents' ability to intentionally seek out activities and contexts and make choices that are conducive to experiencing meaning and positivity, which in turn predicts increased well-being, greater life satisfaction, and fewer maladaptive symptoms. Having an AIC was also found to contribute to a decrease in emotional and behavioral problems.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd
- Authentic inner compass (AIC)
- Prioritizing meaning
- Prioritizing positivity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychology (all)