Growth Motivation Toward Two Paths of Eudaimonic Self-Development

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)


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
Pages (from-to)185-210
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1



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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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