High School Students’ Subjective Well-being

The Role of Life Purpose and Academic Identity



Life purpose, Academic identity, Well-being, Adolescents, Positive Development


The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between high school students’ subjective well-being, academic identity, and sense of purpose in life. Specifically, this study examined the extent to which student subjective well-being can be predicted by sense of purpose in life directly and indirectly via academic identity. Two hundred and thirty-four high school students participated in the study. Findings showed that academic identity predicted all four dimensions of students’ subjective well-being. In relation to life purpose, findings showed that two dimensions of awakening to purpose and altruistic purpose were relevant to students’ subjective well-being. Particularly, students with altruistic purposes reported a more central role of academic identity in their sense of self and, in turn, reported greater satisfaction and joy of learning. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.


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Author Biographies

Gitima Sharma, California State University, Fresno

Gitima Sharma is an Associate Professor of School Counseling in the Department of Counselor Education and Rehabilitation. She was born and raised in India and came to the U.S. to pursue her higher education. She holds M.A. in Counseling degree (2007) from Michigan State University, East Lansing. She holds a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision degree (2015) from the Pennsylvania State University, State College. Dr. Sharma’s research focuses on positive identity development, sense of purpose, persistence, subjective well-being, and career development among school and college students. She has specifically conducted several qualitative and quantitative studies that have explored the nature, role, and development of life purpose among people from diverse backgrounds and age groups. She currently serves on the editorial board for Frontiers in Psychology and Education, and the Journal of Human Services: Training, Research, and Practice.

Mariya Yukhymenko-Lescroart

Mariya Yukhymenko-Lescroart is an Associate Professor of Research and Statistics in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. She was born and raised in Ukraine and came to the U.S. on a Fulbright research/study fellowship. She holds M.A. (2009) and Ph.D. degrees (2012) in educational psychology with focus on research methodology from the University of Connecticut; and M.A. degree (2019) in sport psychology from California State University, Fresno. Dr. Yukhymenko’s research focuses on substantive-methodological synergy. Her substantive interests lie in the intersection of positive, educational, and sport psychology, with focus on positive development of college students and adults, and in providing methodological support to the research of other scholars. For methodological interests, she is particularly interested in scale development and validation and in application of advanced statistical modeling to the empirical data. She currently serves on the editorial board for the Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology and for the International Sport Coaching Journal.


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How to Cite

Sharma, G., & Yukhymenko-Lescroart, M. . (2023). High School Students’ Subjective Well-being: The Role of Life Purpose and Academic Identity. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education, 12(1), 1–22. Retrieved from https://ojed.org/index.php/jise/article/view/5300