Passionate Experiences in Adolescence: Situational Variability and Long-Term Stability

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Abstract

This study investigates adolescents' situational passionate experiences, defined as states of strong commitment and intense affect. We examine the extent to which experiencing passion was specific to situations versus individual differences, and explore which activities are likely to elicit adolescents' passion. Using longitudinal experience sampling method (ESM) data from a representative sample of 996 adolescents (54.6% females) in three cohorts (6th, 8th, and 10th grade at baseline), we examine whether adolescents' frequency of passionate experiences remained stable across 2 years. Results of multilevel analyses revealed that situational determinants accounted for 80% of variance in passion, while 20% were due to characteristics of the person that remained stable across 1 week of ESM assessment. An adolescent's percentage of passionate experiences among all observed experiences remained stable across 2 years in rank order and mean level.

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