High school student aspirations about living well (N = 190) were compared to those of middle school respondents (N = 187). Building on the concepts of intrinsic and extrinsic aspirations, the middle school Variable Concept Indicator Model was expanded to reflect high school aspirations. Gender differences and developmental changes in the aspirations between middle school and high school students were evident. Male students became decidedly more extrinsic while the aspirations of their female counterparts grew to be more intrinsic. In both samples extrinsic adolescents were highly unrealistic about the true cost of expensive personal possessions, making them vulnerable to unsound financial practices and strained interpersonal relationships. When student and client aspirations are addressed educational and practitioner interventions may be more successful.

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