Mixed methods in youth purpose: An examination of adolescent self-regulation and purpose

Document Type


Publication Date


Journal / Book Title

Research in Human Development


Utilizing a relational developmental systems approach to examining character strengths, this article examines the connection between adolescents’ intentional self-regulation (ISR) with youth sense of purpose, using data from a large-scale evaluation of a youth development program in Scotland. Data were triangulated from multiple sources, including youth surveys and interviews as well as teacher assessments. Surveys were collected from 783 S2 (approximately seventh grade) pupils; teacher survey data were collected for 732 of these pupils. Telephone interviews were conducted with a subset of 29 adolescents. The data were analyzed with an innovative mixed-methods technique that allows qualitative interview data to underscore consistencies and disconnects with quantitative findings from both teacher and adolescent surveys. Results demonstrate a strong connection between ISR and purpose and many consistencies across measures of purpose.


This research was supported by Grant #58412 from the John Templeton Foundation.



Published Citation

Miriam R. Linver, Jennifer Brown Urban, Marisa MacDonnell, E. Danielle Roberts, Johanna Quinn, Satabdi Samtani, Rachael Doubledee, Lauren Gama & Derek Morgan (2018) Mixed Methods in Youth Purpose: An Examination of Adolescent Self-Regulation and Purpose, Research in Human Development, 15:2, 118-138, DOI: 10.1080/15427609.2018.1445925