Feeling a sense of purpose in life appears to hold consistent benefits for positive aging and well-being. As such, it is important to consider the potential factors that promote or hinder the development of purposefulness over the lifespan. For instance, it remains unclear whether early life experiences, particularly adverse ones, may hold lasting influences on whether one feels purposeful into adulthood. The current study examined whether early life adversity predicted a diminished sense of purpose in adulthood using data from participants (N = 3835) in the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) study. Reports of early life adversity were associated with lower levels of purpose in adulthood, and chronological age failed to moderate this relationship.

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Keywords adult well-being, early adversity, lifespan development, purpose in life
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1177/0165025416681537
Journal International Journal of Behavioral Development
Hill, P.L, Turiano, N.A. (Nicholas A.), & Burrow, A.L. (Anthony L.). (2018). Early life adversity as a predictor of sense of purpose during adulthood. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 42(1), 143–147. doi:10.1177/0165025416681537