Protective Power of Purpose: Evidence for an Inverse Relationship Between Purpose and Psychological Distress Across Ethnic Groups in Adolescence
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between sense of purpose and psychological distress for youth of different ethnicities, with socioeconomic status (SES). Little research has explored this potentially powerful protective factor across ethnic groups, leaving interventions in this area under-supported empirically. Quantitative data was obtained through a random sample of youth from an ethnically diverse metropolitan area. Results for the sample as a whole were consistent with previous research, supporting an inverse relationship between purpose and psychological distress. African American youth reported the highest ratings of purpose. However, the relationship was only significant for Asian and Hispanic youth. It remained significant for Hispanic youth after controlling for SES. The findings indicated that those designing interventions for atrisk youth must proceed carefully when targeting purpose, because the relationship to psychological distress may vary by ethnic group.
PSYD in Clinical Psychology
Wagener, Linda M.
Determination, Distress, Ethnicity
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