Self-determination theory distinguishes between intrinsic and extrinsic values and research has demonstrated that prioritizing intrinsic relative to extrinsic values is related to greater well-being. Intrinsic values have typically been amalgamated yet based on theories of development (Arnett, 2000; Erikson, 1980), we prospectively examined the relationship between specific intrinsic values and vitality among people at different life stages. We hypothesized that valuing self-growth, reflecting the self-exploration involved in developing an identity, would be particularly important for the vitality of college students (N = 99). Valuing community contribution, consistent with the generativity stage of later adulthood, was expected to be more important for the vitality of schoolteachers (N = 90). Supporting our hypotheses, regression analyses showed that self-growth was relatively more likely than community contribution to be associated with increased vitality among university students, whereas community contribution was relatively more likely than self-growth to be associated with increased vitality among teachers. The analyses controlled for participants' mean ratings of intrinsic and extrinsic values. Change in self-growth values over one year, moreover, predicted students' vitality at the end of the year. The potential for integrating theories of development with self-determination theory's conceptualization of values is discussed.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Generativity, Identity, Intrinsic values, Self-determination theory, Well-being
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2016.03.093
Journal Personality and Individual Differences
Citation
Lekes, N. (Natasha), Houlfort, N. (Nathalie), Milyavskaya, M, Hope, N.H. (Nora H.), & Koestner, R. (Richard). (2016). The role of intrinsic values for self-growth and community contribution at different life stages: Differentially predicting the vitality of university students and teachers over one year. Personality and Individual Differences, 98, 48–52. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2016.03.093