Lawford, H., & Ramey, H. (2015). “Now I know I can make a difference”: Generativity and activity engagement as predictors of meaning making in adolescents and emerging adults. Developmental Psychology, 1395-1406.
The objective of this study was to explore the connection between generativity, meaning making and activity engagement within activity stories. The first research question concentrated on psychological engagement, generativity and behavioral participation in activities. The hypothesis expected them to be positively correlated. The second question was centered on prosociality and activity type. The expected outcome was that individuals with prosocial stories would entail more generative concern. The third question revolved around psychological engagement and associations among behavioral participation. The authors anticipated that psychological engagement and behavioral participation would predict meaning thinking in activity stories. On the methods section, there was the use of two distinct samples; emerging adults and adolescents. These samples differed both in recruitment and age. Emerging adult participants involved 266 undergraduates of whom 84% were female. The adolescent sample on the other hand, entailed 160 youths of whom 64% were female. Among the measures involved was general information like the participant’s sex, mother tongue, age among others. There were also measures of generative concern, Psychological engagement and behavioral participation in activities, activity stories, meaning making and activity and prosociality coding. The findings demonstrated that generative concern had a relationship with behavioral engagement in the adolescent sample. However, it had a positive relationship with spiritual, cognitive and adolescent engagement in both samples. Another finding was that greater generative concern and spiritual engagement were involved with higher insight levels in personal narratives. The final finding was that psychological engagement had a positive relationship with meaning making in activity stories. These findings worked to support the hypotheses postulated by the authors. Among the weaknesses associated with the study is a lack of diversity with regards to the sample chosen. A large percentage of the participants were female, and most were of the Caucasian ethnicity. Maybe the findings would have been different if the sample was diverse. However, the study also had its strengths in that it considered both psychological and behavioral engagement factors. It is the first study to examine the association between psychological activity engagement and generative concern. It is upon other researchers to explore the connections further in future.
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