On the development of harmonious and obsessive passion: The role of autonomy support, activity specialization, and identification with the activity

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Recent research (Vallerand et al., 2003) has supported the existence of two types of passion for activities: a harmonious and an obsessive passion. The purpose of this investigation was to study the processes likely to lead to the development of passion. Three studies using correlational and short-term longitudinal designs with varied populations ranging from beginners to experts reveal that identification with the activity, activity specialization, parents' activity valuation, and autonomy support predict the development of passion. Furthermore, results show that children and teenagers whose environment supports their autonomy are more likely to develop a harmonious passion than an obsessive one. Conversely, children and teenagers who highly value activity specialization, who rely heavily on their activity for self-definition, and whose parents highly value the activity are more likely to develop an obsessive passion.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Journal Article

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