Promoting a greater sense of purpose and meaning to help young people positively impact the world.

"Let purpose guide and motivate you so that you can truly enjoy your gifts and talents, while also making a positive impact."

Dr. Ben Houltberg

Former Thrive Center Faculty

Recent Articles

All Bets are Off: Rethinking the Basics Amid COVID-19

By Pam King | Sep 7, 2020

How can we carry out our basic needs and still thrive during COVID-19? Dr. Pam King shares 8 ways we can do this.

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Thriving over the Long Haul this Fall

By Pam King | Sep 3, 2020

Dr. Pam King reviews the elements of thriving and provides tips on how we can pursue a thriving mindset as we approach fall 2020.

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5 Joy Competencies to Counter the Effects of Confinement During COVID-19, Pt. 2

By Fred Defoy | Jul 23, 2020

Thrive Fellow, Fred Defoy discusses spiritual joy and vocational joy as resources to help us thrive in hard times.

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Third Culture Kids During Quarantine: Adaptability and Purpose

By Esther Tan | Jul 1, 2020

Thrive Fellow, Esther Tan interviews an adult Third Culture Kid on how purpose has helped him navigate through COVID-19.

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Lament and Hope in Times of Injustice and Racism

By Pam King | Jun 5, 2020

Dr. Pam King reflects on injustice and racism, the importance of attuning to our emotions, and coming together as a community.

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A Quarantine Mother’s Day: Finding Purpose in the Middle of Crisis

By Pam King | May 9, 2020

As we celebrate Mother’s Day in quarantine, Dr. Pam King invites all mothers to focus on their purpose in order to live a fulfilling life at home.

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Staying Grounded, Connected, and Directed through Disruption

By Pam King | Apr 23, 2020

Dr. Pam discusses how spirituality can help us stay grounded, connected, and directed throughout challenges.

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Finding Awe in Uncertain Times

By Susan Mangan | Apr 16, 2020

Seeking awe may be at the bottom of our COVID agenda. Dr. Susan Mangan explains why awe can helps us in times of loss.

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Conversation Starters to Foster Academic Thriving in Teens

By Leanne Bishara | Feb 5, 2020

Transitioning to high school can be tough on youth. Discover how you can help them academically succeed through a growth mindset.

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Aspire to Inspire: Learning the Mamba Mentality for Every Day Greatness

By Stephanie Trudeau | Feb 3, 2020

Dr. Stephanie Trudeau breaks down the Mamba Mentality framework and offers tips for how to integrate it into our own lives.

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Mentorships as Catalysts for Youth Thriving

By Casey Taylor | Jan 8, 2020

Research shows that mentors can impact youth thriving. Read about the key characteristics of an effective mentorship.

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Orienting Ourselves through the Holi-daze

By Pam King | Dec 18, 2019

Are we thriving during the pre-holiday craze? Dr. Pam King reminds us about the importance of being mindful and orieinting our lives to what matters.

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Mentor working with youth

9 Prinicples to Effective Youth Service

(Samuelson, 2016)

It takes more than a single caring adult to help youth in disadvantaged communities reach their full potential – it takes a community. In It Takes A Community, Peter Samuelson examines 9 principles to help youth service organizations create supportive, values-driven communities that provide youth with the opportunities and relationships they need to thrive and lead a purposeful future.

More Resources

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Conversing About Thriving

[Podcast] Dr. King reflects on community, spiritual transformation, and growth as sources for thriving.

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Helping Youth With Failure

[Podcast] Dr. King reflects on purpose, spirituality, and social connection as assets for overcoming failure.

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Adolescence Formation

[Video] How can we help youth manage their emotions? Dr. Houltberg investigates in this interview.

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Performance-Based Identity

[Video] Dr. Houltberg shares the negative implications of having a performance-based identity.

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Walking Alongside Others

Video] Dr. Houltberg emphasizes the importance of walking alongside others to help them overcome adversity.

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Conversing About Sports

[Podcast] Dr. Houltberg discusses sports, reflecting on his research and work with elite athletes.

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Hope & Humility as Virtues

[Video] Dr. King speaks on hope as an anchor for our relationships to God and others.

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Success & Well-Being

[Podcast] Dr. Houltberg discusses the impact performance and success have on overall well-being.

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The Meaning of Thriving

[Podcast] Dr. Houltberg defines thriving and shares the key ways anyone can live a flourishing and purposeful life.

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Elite Athletes’ Experiences

[Video] Dr. Houltberg draws on elite athletes' experiences to examine what impacts an athlete's identity formation.

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Boy smiling at camera

Joy on Purpose

[Video] Drs. King and Argue speak on nurturing a youth's purpose to find joy.

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Transcendence & Purpose

[Video] Dr. King explains the relation between transcendence and identity.

See Our Research on Purpose

Ongoing Studies

CI Study of Positive Youth Development

Dr. King and partners study the impact of Compassion International’s program on diverse impoverished youth.

Completed Studies

Identity in Elite Athletes

Dr. Houltberg leads a study in examining the role of self-narrative profiles in elite athletes'

Virtue Interventions in Young Athletes

Drs. Schnitker and Houltberg examine the contexts in which teen athletes develop character strengths.


Self Narratives in Elite Athletes

Drs. Houltberg, Wang et al. analyze 3 narrative profiles in athletes and how they contribute to well-being.

Moral Development

Dr. King interviews Drs. Damon and Colby (Stanford) to discuss purpose, character, virtue, and moral development.

Athletes’ Religion & Perfection

Drs. Houltberg, Wang, and Schnitker examine the link between elite athletes' religiousness and competition.

Effective Youth Service

Samuelson offers 9 principles to help organizations create supportive, values-driven youth communities.