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Talks at Twelve: Anthony Burrow, Thursday, April 12, 2012

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Purpose in Life as an Asset for Positive Adjustment
Anthony Burrow, Assistant Professor, Human Development

Thursday, April 12, 2012
12:00 – 1:00 PM
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room


It has become nearly axiomatic that a purpose in life is a good thing to have. Numerous studies with adults affirm that possessing a meaningful direction and purpose for one’s life corresponds with a host of positive outcomes including greater life satisfaction and fulfillment, positive emotionality, psychological well-being, and resilience to stress. Rarely, however, have researchers asked the extent to which purpose is relevant to adjustment during adolescence, or even if youth are capable of developing such a profound sense of direction for one’s life. In this talk, I will share findings from several studies my colleagues and I have conducted suggesting that not only do many youth consider their purpose in broad and differentiated ways, but that those who are most engaged with this sense may be uniquely equipped to optimally negotiate challenges traditionally thought to thwart adaptive youth development.

Dr. Anthony Burrow is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University. His research examines broadly the significance of developing positive identities and a meaningful sense of direction during adolescence and young adulthood. Dr. Burrow’s primary line of work examines how racial identity, in particular, influences the psychological adjustment to negative experiences reported by minorities. A second line of inquiry concerns the role of identifying and committing to a sense of purpose in life. Both of these research interests emphasis the importance of understanding how cultivating a sense of identity and purpose promote optimal psychosocial adjustment in the everyday lives of young people. Dr. Burrow received his B.A. in Psychology from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Florida International University.

Lunch will be served. This talk is open to all.  Metered parking is available across Plantations Rd. in The Plantations lot.

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