Anthony L. Burrow's research while affiliated with Cornell University and other places

Publications (97)

Article
The wear and tear of adapting to chronic stressors such as racism and discrimination can have detrimental effects on mental and physical health. Here, we investigated the wider implications of everyday racism for relationship quality in an adult sample of 98 heterosexual African American couples. Participants reported on their experiences of racial...
Article
High positive affect and low negative affect have been repeatedly tied to better individual and interpersonal well-being. However, research has focused on mean levels whereas the day-to-day unfolding of affect and its impact on romantic relationships remain largely understudied. Here, we examined the links between mean levels and variability in aff...
Preprint
High positive affect and low negative affect have been repeatedly tied to better individual and interpersonal well-being. However, research has focused on mean levels whereas the day-to-day unfolding of affect and its impact on romantic relationships remain largely understudied. Here, we examined the links between mean levels and variability in aff...
Article
Full-text available
The recognized importance of including student voice in learning has grown. Youth leadership, which empowers young people to choose the learning topics that they are passionate about, may provide a context for exploring complex issues that demand interdisciplinary solutions. This study explored the extent to which youth chose to pursue interdiscipl...
Article
Full-text available
In this preregistered analysis of existing data, we explored whether the association between urgency—a mood-based impulsivity—and risky and self-destructive behavior engagement is moderated by a sense of purpose in life. Results indicated positive associations between positive and negative urgency and recent risk behavior, and negative associations...
Article
Full-text available
While opportunities for adolescents to drive their own learning are increasing, differences in motivations for and engagement in these opportunities are rarely investigated. The current study employed a sample of adolescents (N = 580, M age = 16.53) enrolled in GripTape, a 10-week self-driven learning program in which youth pursue topics of their c...
Preprint
The wear and tear of adapting to chronic stressors such as racism and discrimination can have detrimental effects on mental and physical health. Here, we investigate the wider implications of everyday racism for relationship quality in a sample of 98 heterosexual African American couples. Participants reported on their experiences of racial discrim...
Article
Individual differences can shape the way major life events are experienced. In this study, we explored the unique and interactive effects of depressive symptoms and sense of purpose on downstream appraisals of a COVID-19 college campus shutdown. Data were from a sample of U.S. college students (n = 152) surveyed prior to widespread COVID-19 transmi...
Article
Derailment, a newly mapped construct describing difficulty reconciling perceived changes in identity and self-direction, offers researchers a unique lens for understanding adjustment. As identity development is a lifelong process, establishing the impartiality of the primary measure for derailment across a broad age range is necessary. Across a cro...
Article
A core attribute of the positive youth development movement has been to nullify negative perceptions of youth’s capacities. Toward this end, measurement and classification systems benefit from efforts to view youth’s capacities as assets contextualized by developmental potentials and opportunities. In this article, we consider this point with respe...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has extensively changed the state of psychological science from what research questions psychologists can ask to which methodologies psychologists can use to investigate them. In this article, we offer a perspective on how to optimize new research in the pandemic’s wake. Because this pandemic is inherently a social phenomenon—...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Supporting healthy youth development depends on recognizing how anti-Black racism intersects with the core needs and opportunities of adolescence and working to mitigate and eliminate these effects. A new report from the National Scientific Council on Adolescence (NSCA), housed at the Center for the Developing Adolescent (CDA) at UCLA, summarizes r...
Article
Rationale Despite the clear public health significance of herd immunity to COVID-19, a host of individual differences influence willingness to get vaccinated. One factor likely to motivate individuals is the extent they have a sense of purpose in life, based on the health correlates of purpose and purposeful individuals’ desire to return to their p...
Article
Objective Sense of purpose has been associated with greater health and well-being, even in daily contexts. However, it is unclear whether effects would hold in daily life during COVID-19, when people may have difficulty seeing a path towards their life goals. Design The current study investigated whether purposefulness predicted daily positive aff...
Article
Background Everyday discrimination holds pernicious effects across most aspects of health, including a pronounced stress response. However, work is needed on when discrimination predicts sleep outcomes, with respect to potential moderators of these associations. Purpose The current study sought to advance the past literature by examining the assoc...
Article
Objectives: While sense of purpose is a robust predictor of well-being, little work has considered whether the associations vary based on future time perspective. Exploring this possibility is important given that the extent to which one may pursue their life aims could be dependent upon how much time they feel that they have remaining. Methods:...
Article
A prevailing belief is that a sense of purpose in life is worth having, based on evidence that it predicts greater psychological functioning, social relationships, physical health, and longevity. Yet, whether the benefits of having a sense of purpose persist across all contents – or the actual substance of one’s aspirations – lingers as a critical...
Article
When perceived changes in course occur, individuals can be left feeling disconnected from who they were in the past. This sensation of being “off-course” in life is an individual difference we call derailment. In this paper, we review derailment’s unique contribution to the psychological literature, the role of perceived self and identity change in...
Article
Researchers have called for gerontologists to spend greater attention on promoting happiness in older adulthood, a point aligned with the general public’s interest in finding the keys to being happy later in life. However, targeting and even defining happiness comes with several caveats and challenges, leaving researchers to make difficult decision...
Article
Purposeful living involves planning daily life around personal pursuits. However, it is unclear whether people expect to have more purposeful days than they actually do, and which factors influence discrepancies. A pandemic is a valuable context for examining expectations, as it institutes a less predictable environment. The current studies asked a...
Chapter
The empirical study of purpose in life has been a booming industry over recent decades. As such, the current volume provides a reflection on this past work with an eye toward future endeavors across academic disciplines. To start, this introductory chapter provides a brief overview of central topics in the field of purpose. First, we discuss what i...
Article
Most youth development programs strive to promote thriving, but scientific inquiry into how they achieve this aim is rare and often complicated by nuanced program structures and delivery. Across two studies, we explored how one thriving indicator, having a sense of purpose in life, may be cultivated by a statewide 4-H program. In Study 1, an induct...
Article
Sense of purpose has proven a consistent predictor of positive outcomes during adulthood. However, it remains unclear how purposeful adults respond to positive events in their daily lives. The current study examined whether sense of purpose predicted the frequency of daily positive events, as well as participants' affect on days with a positive eve...
Article
Full-text available
People tend to perceive themselves more favourably than others, but the degree to which individuals exhibit this bias may be influenced by cultural upbringing. Korean ( n = 271) and American ( n = 503) participants were asked to evaluate current and future health expectations for themselves and others. Results showed that American participants rate...
Article
Objectives: Studies of discrimination and sleep have largely focused on between-person differences in discrimination as a correlate of sleep outcomes. A common criticism of this research is that standard questionnaire measures of discrimination may be confounded by personality and identity and are subject to recall bias. Partially addressing these...
Article
Full-text available
As cancer remains the leading disease-related cause of death in adolescence, designers must consider the influence of health facility design on social support and quality of life, while considering the changing psychosocial needs of adolescents and young adults (AYAs). Both the stress of treatment and the environment in which treatment occurs can i...
Article
Background Studies have consistently demonstrated a positive cross-sectional association between depressive symptoms and derailment, or the sense of being “off-course” in life. Still unknown is whether all symptoms of depression similarly relate to derailment. Given that depressive symptoms do not weigh equally in the prediction of other important...
Article
Psychological research suggests a sense of purpose in life is a coveted asset, with well-established linkages to well-being and healthy functioning. But how do individuals preserve this sense when previously reliable settings – and the opportunities they afford – are profoundly disrupted? The current moment provides a formidable test of this questi...
Article
Collaborations between researchers and practitioners are valuable for community development but are challenging to implement. This study aimed to assess how researchers and practitioners perceive such collaborations and examine their ideas about how collaborations can be conducted more effectively. Developing one such research-practice collaboratio...
Book
This book explores what it means to live a purposeful life and outlines the benefits associated with purpose across different life domains. It also demonstrates that purpose in life is not reducible to constructs such as happiness, well-being, or identity development. The importance of having a sense of purpose in life is attracting renewed attenti...
Article
A minimal amount of information is known about how adolescents and emerging adults construe purpose and meaning in life, leaving many researchers to assume youth think about these constructs consistent with scientific understandings. In this preregistered study, we compared adolescent and emerging adult conceptions of purpose and meaning using dire...
Article
Amid much interest in building research partnerships that connect campuses and communities, researchers and practitioners alike struggle to find partners and form successful collaborations. Researchers who study youth development often have goals that are well-aligned with those of communities and youth-serving practitioners, yet practical advice o...
Article
Full-text available
Social relationships imbue life with meaning, whereas loneliness diminishes one's sense of meaning in life. Yet the extent of interdependence between these psychological constructs remains poorly understood. We took a multivariate network approach to examine resting-state fMRI functional connectivity's association with loneliness and meaning in a l...
Article
We investigated reciprocity between depressive symptoms and a novel construct called derailment, which indexes perceived changes in identity and self-direction. People who are “derailed” have trouble reconciling how their life course has unfolded over time and, as a result, do not easily identify with their former self. College students (N = 939) p...
Article
This study examined how two individual differences—autistic traits and sense of purpose—predict perceptions of purpose development and adult status. Participants (N = 805, Mage = 25.42 years) were surveyed via Qualtrics Panels. While sense of purpose positively correlated with each purpose pathway and perceived adult status, autistic traits negativ...
Article
Full-text available
Recent evidence that reflecting on one’s purpose in life increases engagement with academic tasks inspires questions about whether purpose interventions might enhance learning engagement more broadly. This potential may be particularly fruitful for programs serving youth from a wide range of ages wherein sustaining engagement may be challenging. He...
Article
Full-text available
Diversity and inclusion are essential elements of 4-H’s goals related to positive youth development, workforce development, and organizational sustainability. Previous research has examined Cooperative Extension professionals’ attitudes on this topic, demonstrating that most of them recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion in 4-H. Here w...
Article
Research suggests that individuals who report a greater sense of purpose in life tend to fare better economically, which may be expected to extend to the societal-level, in terms of higher GDP. However, previous work has demonstrated a negative association between citizens’ reports of purpose and GDP. The current study reconciles these differences...
Article
This study examined whether individual differences in affective reactivity, defined as changes in positive or negative affect in response to daily racial discrimination, predicted subsequent depressive symptoms. Participants were African American graduate and postgraduate students ( N = 174; M age = 30 years) recruited for a measurement-burst study...
Article
In recent decades there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of research focused on purpose in life, demonstrating a host of benefits that emerge for individuals committed to a purpose. As with other constructs in the positive youth development framework, there is a paucity of work investigating how experiences of marginalization impact the d...
Article
The field of positive psychology has sparked significant interest for researchers, in part given the apparent potential for individuals higher on “positive” dispositions to experience better health and well‐being. However, as the field has grown, so too have the number of conceptually similar dispositions identified by researchers as important to s...
Article
Developmental perspectives on self and identity view a sense of personal sameness and continuity as critical for positive adjustment. Thus, the degree to which individuals perceive change over time in self and direction constitutes an important individual difference. Here, we offer an empirically sound instrument for assessing the extent to which p...
Article
In navigating decisions about what to eat, people both construct and rely on a food-choice identity. Yet food choice is multifaceted, as people apply different dietary schemas to different types of food, engaging various domains of food-choice identity. In this paper, we focus on dietarian identity: one's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with resp...
Article
Having a sense of purpose in life has been discussed as a psychological asset for promoting positive youth development. Yet confidence in the benefits of purpose has accumulated faster than rigorous confirmation of their existence among youth, using instruments and methods calibrated to the developmental stage of those under study. Here, the author...
Article
Background Having a sense of purpose in life has been consistently demonstrated as a predictor of positive health outcomes, including less perceived stress, yet, little is known about the role of sense of purpose on stressful days. Purpose The current study investigated the sense of purpose as a moderator of stressor-related changes in daily physi...
Article
Individuals contend with a variety of threats in daily life and may attempt to deal with them using various cognitive strategies. Two constructs borne from different literatures, purpose in life and self‐affirmation, serve to promote well‐being and to protect individuals from such threats. While self‐affirmation has often been examined as a manipul...
Article
Much recent research has explored vegetarians' dietary motivations, recurrently highlighting the significant influence they exert on how people view themselves and others. For vegetarians and other plant-based dieters, dietary motivations have been theorized to be a central aspect of identity. Yet not all plant-based dieters are motivated to follow...
Article
Purpose in life has been discussed as a psychosocial process in which individuals construct their life aims in relation to other people. Consequently, difficulty attending to social cues could limit the extent to which individuals feel purposeful. The present study (N = 252) examined links between subclinical autistic features found in the general...
Article
By departing from social norms regarding food behaviors, vegetarians acquire membership in a distinct social group and can develop a salient vegetarian identity. However, vegetarian identities are diverse, multidimensional, and unique to each individual. Much research has identified fundamental psychological aspects of vegetarianism, and an identit...
Article
Psychologists use the term microaggressions to describe subtle forms of bias and discrimination experienced by members of marginalized groups. Lilienfeld (2017, this issue) makes an important contribution to the literature by presenting a critical review of the meaning and measurement of microaggression experiences. In this commentary, we argue tha...
Article
Full-text available
Feeling a sense of purpose in life appears to hold consistent benefits for positive aging and well-being. As such, it is important to consider the potential factors that promote or hinder the development of purposefulness over the lifespan. For instance, it remains unclear whether early life experiences, particularly adverse ones, may hold lasting...
Article
Past research has suggested that the cognitive broadening produced by positive emotions may extend to social contexts. Building on this evidence, two experiments conducted one year post-election examined the extent to which increased social perspective taking occurs after exposure to Obama. Experiment 1 demonstrated that African Americans exposed t...
Data
Study 2 raw data (CSV files) from The effects of exposure to objective coherence on perceived meaning in life: a preregistered direct replication of Heintzelman, Trent & King (2013)
Data
Study 4 raw data (CSV files) from The effects of exposure to objective coherence on perceived meaning in life: a preregistered direct replication of Heintzelman, Trent & King (2013)
Article
Full-text available
Having a sense of meaning in life (MIL) has been acknowledged as a catalyst to psychological flourishing. As such, understanding ways to promote MIL represents a worthy goal for those interested in bolstering positive outcomes. This study sought to replicate the findings of Heintzelman, Trent & King (2013 Psychol. Sci. 24, 991–998 doi:10.1177/09567...
Article
Having a sense of purpose in life appears valuable across life domains, though it remains unclear whether purpose also provides financial value to individuals. The current study examined sense of purpose as a predictor of concurrent and longitudinal income and net worth levels, using two waves of the MIDUS sample of adults (N = 4660 across both ass...
Article
Sociometer theory asserts that self-esteem is calibrated to one's perceived relational value. Accordingly, positive feedback should boost self-esteem because it signals acceptance by others. Yet, the extent to which self-esteem is sensitive to positive feedback may depend on individuals' sense of purpose. In two studies (N = 342), we tested purpose...
Article
Individuals can find a purpose or direction for life prior to reaching adulthood, with parental figures often functioning as scaffolds. However, research is lacking with respect to understanding whether purposeful emerging adults have more positive relationships with their parents. The current studies provide initial insights into this possibility...
Article
Purpose in life contributes to health and wellbeing. We examine the link between purpose and behavioral impulsivity that may account for these benefits. In a community sample of 503 adults, we found a small yet reliable positive association between purpose and valuing future rewards on a delayed discounting task, a behavioral index of impulsivity....
Article
People tend to overestimate the steepness of slopes, especially when they appraise the effort necessary to ascend them as greater. Recent studies, however, suggest the way individuals perceive visual stimuli may rely heavily on their personal motivations. In four studies (N = 517), purpose in life was tested as a motivational framework influencing...
Article
Comments on the original article "Life is pretty meaningful," by S. J. Heintzelman and L. A. King (see record 2014-03265-001). Heintzelman and King condense descriptive data from numerous studies to conclude that individuals tend to see life as meaningful, because average scores on the meaning and purpose in life assessments fall above the midpoint...
Article
The present investigation (total N = 643) sought to examine for the first time self-discrepancy theory in relation to purpose in life. Negative associations were found between purpose and discrepancies in perceptions of one's actual and ideal personality (Study 1) and body image (Study 2). Study 3 further demonstrated experimentally that individual...
Article
When most people think of anonymous comments written on online content, they think of messages that are overtly negative and offensive. Previous research suggests that readers of online content about race may react more negatively to authors who are members of stigmatized racial groups. In 2 studies, we tested this possibility with respect to onlin...
Article
Full-text available
Grit, defined as a passion and perseverance for one's goals, has been consistently demonstrated as an adaptive resource across multiple domains. Less explored, however, are the correlates of and sources from which grit is derived. The current studies examined two plausible candidates for promoting grit, positive affect and commitment to a purpose,...
Article
Emerging demographic trends signal that White Americans will soon relinquish their majority status. As Whites' acclimation to an increasingly diverse society is poised to figure prominently in their adjustment, identifying sources of greater comfort with diversity is important. Three studies (N = 519) revealed evidence that purpose in life bolsters...
Article
Although finding a purpose is almost universally accepted as a developmental achievement, relatively little research has sought to understand the potential means by which individuals do so. Using a newly developed measure, the current studies examined the personality and well-being profiles of individuals who reported following any of three differe...
Article
Identity and purpose in life can serve as internal assets during the transition to adulthood. Although these two facets of the self are closely linked, they are usually studied separately. The rare research that has considered identity and purpose together has focused exclusively on commitment in these domains, neglecting the process of exploration...
Article
In this review, we discuss three questions about the importance of studying purpose as a construct relevant to adolescence. We consider how finding a purpose can help youth answer questions such as “Who am I?” and “Where am I going?” and summarize the benefits of finding a purpose during adolescence. Purposeful youth are more agentic and driven in...
Article
Many individuals feel socially isolated and distressed in ethnically diverse settings. Purpose in life may buffer this form of distress by fostering one's sense of having a meaningful direction, which may also be of significance to others. In two experience-sampling studies with ethnically diverse participants, we examined associations between the...
Article
Perceiving changes in life satisfaction has been linked to diminished health and well-being. Purpose in life is theorized to promote well-being by providing a sense of personal consistency, which may buffer the negative consequences of perceived change. Using data from the Midlife in the United States study, a cluster analysis was performed to expl...
Article
Full-text available
Although epidemiological studies and community surveys of Asian Americans have found that lifetime occurrences of racial discrimination are associated with increased risk for psychological morbidity, little is known about how exposure to racial discrimination is patterned in everyday life. Extrapolating from previous qualitative research (Sue, Bucc...
Article
Because even subtle forms of racial discrimination can damage well-being, identifying individual differences that shape this stress process is important. Dispositional forgiveness has been shown to influence how people perceive and react to interpersonal transgressions, yet its role in the context of racial discrimination has not received much rese...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this article is to present a culturally situated, asset‐based developmental framework for understanding successful adaptation to stress. Making use of theory and research on differential exposure and reactivity to racial discrimination, it introduces a framework that can be used to investigate positive development in the context of o...
Article
Past experiments have demonstrated that the cognitive broadening produced by positive emotions may extend to social contexts. Building on this evidence, we hypothesized that positive emotions triggered by thinking about Barack Obama may broaden and expand people's sense of self to include others. Results from an expressive-writing study demonstrate...
Article
One theme in Erik Erikson's work is the importance of finding a purpose for life. This article discusses the role of purpose in Erikson's writings and uses this review as a foundation for investigating Erikson's claims. Using a longitudinal sample of adolescents, Study 1 shows that identity and purpose development are intertwined processes insofar...
Article
Full-text available
The current study considered the influence of the 2008 presidential election on the racial identity of African American college students (M(age) = 19.3 years; 26.3% male). The design of the study consisted of 2 components: longitudinal and daily. The longitudinal component assessed 3 dimensions of racial identity (centrality, private regard, and pu...
Article
Having a sense of purpose has been discussed as a developmental asset for youth and as an outgrowth of establishing a sense of identity. Using the identity capital model as a theoretical framework, 3 studies examined purpose as a mediator in the relationship between identity and well-being among adolescents and emerging adults. In Study 1A, (n = 11...
Article
Racial microaggressions and their influence on mental health were examined among african american doctoral students and graduates of doctoral programs. using a mixed-methods approach, the current study first identified the types of microaggressions reported by african american participants (N = 97) and then investigated the mechanism by which these...
Article
Motivating youth to find a purpose in life promotes positive youth development. However, it is as yet uncertain whether adolescents think of purpose in ways similar to researchers. This study addressed this deficit by asking 229 adolescents from a Catholic and a public high school to define what it means to have a purpose in life, using a free-resp...
Article
The role of racial identity in the stress process was examined in a sample (N = 174) of African American doctoral students and graduates of doctoral programs. Racial discrimination and psychological distress (negative affect, depression, and anxiety) were assessed each day for a period of two weeks. Multilevel random coefficient modeling analyses r...
Article
Adaptive identity development leads to increases in personality traits that allow for social well-being. The current study tested this claim with respect to forgivingness, a dispositional tendency to forgive others. In a sample of university undergraduates (N = 214), we examined the relations between forgivingness and two indicators of identity dev...
Article
Two studies evaluated whether different purpose orientations, defined by the content of one's life-goals, would differentially predict personal well-being in the short- and long-term. Four types of purpose orientations (creative, prosocial, financial, and personal recognition) were examined using a sample of 416 (57% male) college undergraduates te...