Pursuing Pleasure and/or Growth? Developmental Changes in Happiness Orientations and The Role of Parental Socialization During Early Adolescence

Project: Research project

Project Details


This project aims to uncover what makes young adolescents endorse which happiness orientation from the perspectives of adolescent development and parental socialization. First, we will examine the developmental changes of the hedonic and eudaimonic orientations over early adolescence. Second, as suggested by multiple socialization theories (Bandura, 1977; Deci & Ryan, 2008; van Gelder et al., 2017), we will examine three pathways in which parents influence the development of adolescent happiness orientations: parental modeling, parental encouragement, and general parental control. Finally, to uncover the developmental origins of happiness orientation, we will further examine the process of how parents transmit their happiness orientations to their adolescents through the three pathways. This three-year project will adopt a three-wave longitudinal design. Three consecutive annual assessments will be conducted in a sample of 860 two-parent families of seventh-graders comprised of adolescents, fathers, and mothers. By integrating theories of adolescent development, parental socialization and positive psychology, this study will provide a new perspective to address the hedonia-eudaimonia distinction in well-being, explicate the mechanisms underlying the development of happiness orientations, and offer an innovative account (i.e., parental happiness orientations) to explain parenting behavior. Findings will contribute to developing evidence-based programs and campaigns for parents and adolescents that focus on happiness orientations, ultimately helping promote adolescents’ flourishing locally and globally.

Funding Source: RGC - General Research Fund (GRF)
Effective start/end date01/01/2330/06/25


  • hedonic orientation, eudaimonic orientation, developmental trajectory, parental socialization, Chinese adolescents


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