Beyond challenge-seeking and skill-building: toward the lifespan developmental perspective on flow theory

Dwight C. K. Tse, Jeanne Nakamura, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The current developmental perspective on flow theory focuses mainly on the growth of skills. Such perspective, however, may overlook how individuals find flow in the face of developmental losses. This paper expands the current developmental perspective on flow theory by incorporating the contemporary view of lifespan human development. The first part of the review is an introduction to the current developmental perspective on flow theory and its premises. The second part identifies and describes the theories of how individuals respond to excess environmental challenges. The third part proposes a new lifespan developmental perspective on flow theory that revises the original premises and covers the range of cognitive and behavioral responses to challenge–skill imbalance. The fourth part explains the relations of the imbalance-induced responses to the imbalance–flow experience model. The final part discusses potential moderators that facilitate (or inhibit) the effectiveness of the imbalance-induced responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-182
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Positive Psychology
Volume15
Issue number2
Early online date11 Feb 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • challenge-skill balance
  • flow experience
  • lifespan development

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