Growth Motivation Toward Two Paths of Eudaimonic Self-Development

Jack J. Bauer, Sun W. Park, R. Matthew Montoya, Heidi A Wayment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Growth motivation is studied as a desire for personal growth, framed within a model of eudaimonic growth and self-development (Bauer and McAdams in Dev Psychol 46:761-772, 2010). Five studies examine two facets of growth motivation (reflective and experiential) that aim respectively toward two paths of eudaimonic self-development (maturity/wisdom and well-being/meaningfulness). Studies 1 and 2 demonstrate that participants differentiate concerns for reflective and experiential growth motivation, suggesting that people think about personal growth not merely in global terms. Studies 3-5 demonstrate that reflective growth motivation primarily predicts measures of psychosocial maturity, whereas experiential growth motivation primarily predicts measures of well-being, suggesting that motives for two facets of growth motivation correspond to the relative attainment of two facets of eudaimonic self-development. These relations hold when controlling for global measures of personal growth. Furthermore, reflective and experiential growth motivation simultaneously and independently predict generativity and self-actualization (constructs that incorporate qualities of both wisdom/maturity and happiness/well-being), suggesting that reflective and experiential growth motivation, despite their differentiation, also speak to a global, integrative notion of personal growth. The role of growth motivation within the context of eudaimonia and human development is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
StateAccepted/In press - 2014



  • Eudaimonia
  • Growth motivation
  • Maturity
  • Meaning
  • Self-development
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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