Is there a link between adolescents' experience of joy and fulfillment and their increased openness and commitment to the world and other human beings? A series of comparative studies was conducted investigating different adolescent samples according to cultural background (American Christians, Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs), socio-economic status (low, high, disadvantaged), religiosity (observant, secular), and exceptionality (hearing impaired) and at different stages of prosocial involvement (non-involved, registered, and involved volunteers). Over and above group differences, the findings from all samples demonstrated that adolescents who realize positive experiences in greater depth and intensity, are also differentiated by a stronger desire to contribute to society and/or to be devoted to some aim beyond self. Implications for educators in fostering the social responsibility and self-fulfillment of young people from different backgrounds were discussed.
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Magen, Z. Commitment beyond self and adolescence: The issue of happiness. Soc Indic Res 37, 235–267 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00286233