Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 185–210 | Cite as

Growth Motivation Toward Two Paths of Eudaimonic Self-Development

  • Jack J. BauerEmail author
  • Sun W. Park
  • R. Matthew Montoya
  • Heidi A. Wayment
Research Paper


Growth motivation is studied as a desire for personal growth, framed within a model of eudaimonic growth and self-development (Bauer and McAdams in Dev Psychol 46:761–772, 2010). Five studies examine two facets of growth motivation (reflective and experiential) that aim respectively toward two paths of eudaimonic self-development (maturity/wisdom and well-being/meaningfulness). Studies 1 and 2 demonstrate that participants differentiate concerns for reflective and experiential growth motivation, suggesting that people think about personal growth not merely in global terms. Studies 3–5 demonstrate that reflective growth motivation primarily predicts measures of psychosocial maturity, whereas experiential growth motivation primarily predicts measures of well-being, suggesting that motives for two facets of growth motivation correspond to the relative attainment of two facets of eudaimonic self-development. These relations hold when controlling for global measures of personal growth. Furthermore, reflective and experiential growth motivation simultaneously and independently predict generativity and self-actualization (constructs that incorporate qualities of both wisdom/maturity and happiness/well-being), suggesting that reflective and experiential growth motivation, despite their differentiation, also speak to a global, integrative notion of personal growth. The role of growth motivation within the context of eudaimonia and human development is discussed.


Growth motivation Eudaimonia Maturity Well-being Meaning Self-development 



We wish to thank Bill Moroney and his Spring 2007 PSY 410/506—Questionnaire Design course, especially Angela Lauer, for providing numerous insights and suggestions during the initial stage of this research. We also wish to thank Hiroko Kamide, Shaun Perciful, Nicole Arbuckle, Laura Graham, and Bridget Lynch for their insights and assistance with these studies and the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jack J. Bauer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sun W. Park
    • 2
  • R. Matthew Montoya
    • 1
  • Heidi A. Wayment
    • 3
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of DaytonDaytonUSA
  2. 2.Korea UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  3. 3.Northern Arizona UniversityFlagstaffUSA

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