Longitudinal associations between passions and adjustment in adolescence: Positive mood and unstructured leisure activities as mediators
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Passions are activities that people find important, like or enjoy, and on which they spend large amounts of time. Research examining passions in adolescence has been limited, despite a tendency for adolescents to explore their identity by trying new activities (Dworkin et aI., 2003). The purpose of the present study was to examine the association between adolescent passions and positive adjustment (psychological well-being, optimism, purpose in life, and low risktaking), as well as investigate possible underlying mechanisms for the link between passions and adjustment. High school students (N=2270, 48.7% female) from Southern Ontario completed questionnaires in grades 10, 11, and 12. Path analyses were conducted to examine cross-lag paths among all study variables. Passions predicted higher optimism and purpose, as well as lower negative risk-taking, over time, but these adjustment indicators in tum did not predict higher passions over time. Additionally, positive mood and unstructured leisure activities partially mediated these associations. Passions appears to be important for adolescent adjustment, and may serve as a protective factor or help to foster thriving.