The study of life goals concerns the values that individuals prioritize and the objectives that they consciously form to direct their lives. Self-determination theory distinguishes life goals as either intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic life goals, such as developing close relationships, are thought to be inherently satisfying and to fulfill an individual’s psychological needs whereas extrinsic life goals, such as striving to be wealthy, depend on the contingent reaction of others and tend not to satisfy an individual’s needs. As a period when individuals adopt new social roles, develop an identity, and consider education and career directions, adolescence is a key developmental period for the study of life goals. Researchers have found that the degree to which adolescents endorse intrinsic and extrinsic life goals is related to their well-being. The more that young people prioritize intrinsic relative to extrinsic pursuits, the greater their well-being. The research on the...
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Lekes, N. (2011). Life Goals: Intrinsic and Extrinsic Pursuits. In: Levesque, R.J.R. (eds) Encyclopedia of Adolescence. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1695-2_237
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