Evidence That It Works
A longitudinal study of almost 12,000 people born in 1970 in the UK found that values that adolescents believed would be important to them as adults predicted adult behavior and roles.
For example, valuing family in the future predicted marriage and children, but not full-time work, possibly due to the demands of childrearing. Civic values predicted adult civic behaviors, but did not predict having children. The authors speculated that this group may have decided to delay having children or perhaps chose not to do so in order to dedicate more time to greater civic causes.
Why Does It Matter?
Giving students the opportunity to identify what matters most to them can help them envision their lives as adults. This, in turn, can help them discover a sense of purpose and to set goals for achieving their greatest dreams.