A Theory of Generativity and Its Assessment Through Self-Report, Behavioral Acts, and Narrative Themes in Autobiography

Dan P McAdams*, Ed de St. Aubin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

565 Scopus citations


Generativity may be conceived in terms of 7 interrelated features: cultural demand, inner desire, generative concern, belief in the species, commitment, generative action, and personal narration. Two studies describe the development and use of 3 assessment strategies designed to tap into the generativity features of concern, action, and narration. A self-report scale of generative concern-the Loyola Generativity Scale (LGS)-exhibited good internal consistency and retest reliability and showed strong positive associations with reports of actual generative acts (e.g., teaching a skill) and themes of generativity in narrative accounts of important autobiographical episodes. In 1 sample of adults between the ages of 19 and 68, LGS scores of fathers were higher than those of men who had never had children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1003-1015
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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