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Purpose in Life as a System That Creates and Sustains Health and Well-Being: An Integrative, Testable Theory

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Abstract

Purpose-a cognitive process that defines life goals and provides personal meaning-may help explain disparate empirical social science findings. Devoting effort and making progress toward life goals provides a significant, renewable source of engagement and meaning. Purpose offers a testable, causal system that synthesizes outcomes including life expectancy, satisfaction, and mental and physical health. These outcomes may be explained best by considering the motivation of the individual-a motivation that comes from having a purpose. We provide a detailed definition with specific hypotheses derived from a synthesis of relevant findings from social, behavioral, biological, and cognitive literatures. To illustrate the uniqueness of the purpose model, we compared purpose with competing contemporary models that offer similar predictions. Addressing the structural features unique to purpose opens opportunities to build upon existing causal models of "how and why" health and well-being develop and change over time.

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... A cursory examination of the scientific literature offers promise to individuals fortunate enough to find a purpose in life and disciplined enough to be committed to it. When a person believes that they possess a purpose -a centralized aim for their life that offers a sense of direction for organizing their daily efforts and making decisions between competing options (McKnight & Kashdan, 2009) -an important asset to a meaningful, healthy life has been unlocked. Growing evidence suggests that greater endorsement of a purpose is associated with better self-reported and objective physical health, including lower physiological reactivity (including inflammation) when under high levels of stress, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, slower decline in cognitive functioning over the course of aging, and greater life longevity (e.g., Boyle et al., 2010;Cohen et al., 2016;Hill & Turiano, 2014;Kim et al., 2017;Steptoe & Fancourt, 2019). ...
... Yet, upon identifying a clear purpose or central life mission, there is less wear and tear on the body. Fitting with existing theory (McKnight & Kashdan, 2009), when a purpose is present (and there is a clear 'why' for taking action), people are more efficient in using finite resources, which allows for sustained persistence toward long-term goals. ...
Article
Much has been discovered about well-being since 1998, when positive psychology entered the lexicon. Among the wide range of areas in positive psychology, in this commentary we discuss recent discoveries on (1) distinctions between meaning in life, a sense of purpose, and happiness, (2) psychological or personality strengths and the benefits of particular combinations, and (3) resilience after exposure to adversity. We propose a series of questions about this literature with the hope that well-being researchers and practitioners continue to update their perspectives based on high-quality scientific findings and revise old views that rely on shaky empirical ground.
... As one of humankind's existential questions, studies on meaning in life originate from Frankl & Frankl (1963) who viewed meaning in life and life purpose as one entity. This research was continued until several researchers proposed that meaning in and purpose in life are constructs that are separate but related to each other (Damon et al., 2003;George & Park, 2017;McKnight & Kashdan, 2009). Basic psychological needs satisfaction (Demirbaş-Çelik & Keklik, 2019) as well as mental well-being were reported as the predictor of meaning in life (Demirbas-Çelik, 2018a). ...
... It is interesting that meaning in life plays a key role in teachers' well-being (Damasio et al., 2013). It is interesting to note that although not all researchers agree on the aspect of beyond-the-self being part of the definition of purpose in life (Damon et al., 2003;McKnight & Kashdan, 2009;Steger et al., 2009), the majority of teachers mentioned a life that has positive benefits for others and living for God in their understanding about purpose in life. ...
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Previous studies have revealed the benefits of character and meaning in life for individual well-being. However, little research has been conducted on elementary and junior high school teachers who teach students between the ages of 10-15 years (late childhood and early adolescence) in Indonesia. This study aims to explore teachers’ perceptions about character, meaning in life, and well-being. Interviews were conducted among 20 teachers. Our findings revealed that according to the teachers, the lessons and assessments in character education are well designed. However, coordination within the school community and with parents as well as specific roles between teachers and parents in building students’ character, meaning, and well-being needs to be improved. What teachers understood about meaning in life corresponds with the results of previous studies. Teachers’ understanding of well-being concept is still limited. They acknowledged family background, socioeconomic status, popularity, and academic achievement as important factors in students’ well-being. Keywords: character; meaning in life; well-being; teachers; children; adolescents
... For instance, when considering the three components of meaning (Martela & Steger, 2016), one might suspect that individuals with cognitive impairment have greater difficulties in comprehending how elements of life fit together and living a goal-directed life. Indeed, researchers have suggested that higher-order cognitive functions, such as coordinating complex activities and integrating past, present, and future, are needed for meaningful/purposeful living (e.g., McKnight and Kashdan 2009;Krause 2007). From this perspective, meaning in life may not only predict better cognitive functioning, it may also be contingent on it. ...
... Additionally, we expected meaning in life to predict individual change trajectories of cognitive decline, so that participants with lower initial levels of meaning would show stronger decline (Boyle et al. 2010;Wilson et al. 2013;Kim et al. 2019). Finally, we explored whether cognitive functioning (both level and change) also predicted meaning in life over time, as this alternative direction has also been suggested in the literature (Krause 2007;McKnight and Kashdan 2009). Hypotheses regarding the temporal association between variable levels were investigated using cross-lagged panel analyses, and hypotheses regarding individual change trajectories were investigated using latent growth curve analysis. ...
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Studies show the importance of the personal experience of meaning in life for older adults, but adults with dementia have been largely excluded from this research. The current study examined the longitudinal predictive effect of meaning in life for the psychological and cognitive functioning of older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and whether cognitive decline predicted presence of meaning in life. On three yearly measurement occasions, presence of meaning in life, depressive symptoms, life satisfaction, and cognitive functioning were assessed in structured interviews with a convenience sample of 140 older adults with Alzheimer’s disease from nine nursing homes in Belgium. Cross-lagged panel and latent growth curve models were used to analyze the longitudinal relationships between the variables. Over the three measurement waves, participants with higher presence of meaning reported lower depressive symptoms one year later. Presence of meaning and life satisfaction predicted each other over time, but only between the first and second wave. The analyses showed no strong evidence for a longitudinal association between meaning in life and cognitive functioning in either direction. The findings emphasize the importance of the experience of meaning in life for the psychological functioning of older adults with Alzheimer’s disease. The lack of evidence for associations between meaning and cognitive functioning questions the prevailing view that intact cognitive abilities are a necessity for experiencing meaning. More attention to the potential of meaning interventions for persons with dementia is warranted.
... Purpose through meditation encourages daily meaning in life through the encouragement of goal-making and behavior management in accordance with these goals [23]. The mindfulness-based practice of purpose allows emotions to be better regulated when an individual acknowledges the meaning in their life, leading to clearer values and persistence in the face of adversity. ...
... The mindfulness-based practice of purpose allows emotions to be better regulated when an individual acknowledges the meaning in their life, leading to clearer values and persistence in the face of adversity. This practice guides overarching goals and daily behaviors by offering direction to oneself in alignment with one's goals and needs [23]. Much research documents the benefits of committing to the mindfulness-based practice of purpose. ...
Article
Background: Young sexual and gender minorities (SGM) of color are at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities. In turn, young SGM may be faced with unique experiences of discrimination at the intersection of these identities (e.g., discrimination based on both racial/ethnic identity and sexual identity). Emerging evidence suggests that mindfulness practices may be important for reducing the stress that young SGM experience due to discrimination and may also improve overall well-being. Moreover, the omnipresence of smartphone access among racial/ethnic and sexual minority communities provides a method through which to administer mindfulness-based interventions among young SGM of color. Objective: This paper outlines the protocol of the REDUCE study, a pilot randomized control trial of a smartphone-based mindfulness intervention that was developed in conjunction with the Healthy Minds Program (HMP) with the aim of reducing the stress experienced from discrimination among young SGM. Methods: Eighty young (ages 18-29) SGM of color will be enrolled to pilot test the HMP smartphone application. The HMP is a self-guided meditation practice, and participants will be randomized to either a control condition or an intervention that uses a neuroscience-based approach to mindfulness. We will use the Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST) to assess which combination of mindfulness interventions is the most effective at reducing the stress from discrimination among young SGM of color. A combination of mindfulness-based meditation intervention components will be examined, comprised of the mindfulness-based practices of awareness, connection, and purpose. Awareness refers to the practice of self-awareness, which reduces the mind's ability to be distracted and instead be present in the moment. Connection refers to the practice of connection with oneself and others and emphasizes empathy and compassion with oneself and others. Purpose encourages goal making in accordance with one's values and management of behavior in accordance with these goals. In addition, we will assess feasibility and acceptability of the HMP application among young SGM of color. Results: The REDUCE study was approved by New York University's Institutional Review Board, and recruitment and enrollment began in the winter of 2021. We expect to complete enrollment by the summer of 2022. Results will be disseminated via social media, journal articles, abstracts, and/or presentations, as well as to participants, who will be given the opportunity to provide feedback to the researchers. Conclusions: Evidence from this study will assist in the creation of a sustainable, culturally relevant mobile application-based mindfulness intervention to reduce stress from discrimination among young SGM of color. Clinicaltrial: Nct05131360.
... Similarly, social psychologists describe purpose as constituting one of four human needs for meaning, along with self-worth, value, and efficacy (Baumeister, 1991). Cognitive psychologists frame purpose as encompassing three dimensions of scope, strength, and awareness; scope referring to the ubiquity of a sense of purpose in a person's life, strength referring to the influence purpose has on a person's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and awareness as the extent to which a person is consciously aware of their purpose in life and can articulate it (McKnight & Kashdan, 2009). Purpose has also been conceptualized as an integral part of positive human health and flourishing and as positively influencing physical and mental health outcomes (McKnight & Kashdan, 2009;Ryff & Singer, 1998). ...
... Cognitive psychologists frame purpose as encompassing three dimensions of scope, strength, and awareness; scope referring to the ubiquity of a sense of purpose in a person's life, strength referring to the influence purpose has on a person's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and awareness as the extent to which a person is consciously aware of their purpose in life and can articulate it (McKnight & Kashdan, 2009). Purpose has also been conceptualized as an integral part of positive human health and flourishing and as positively influencing physical and mental health outcomes (McKnight & Kashdan, 2009;Ryff & Singer, 1998). For example, studies in resilience highlight the protective role of purpose in promoting both physical and psychological health, including in stressful environments (Antonovsky, 1987;Ryff & Singer, 1998). ...
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Youth purpose was investigated using a two-phase embedded design with youth participating in Scouts BSA ( N = 3,943), ages 9–20 ( M = 14.0, SD = 1.9). Participating Scouts were mostly White (91%) and male (98%). In Phase 1, we conducted a two-step cluster analysis on Scouts’ survey responses to three purpose dimensions (personal meaning, goal-directedness, beyond-the-self orientation). Four clusters emerged: Purposeful, Explorers, Dreamers, Nonpurposeful. In Phase 2, we explored qualities of purpose within each cluster and programmatic features and relationships within the scouting context fostering youth purpose with a Scout subsample ( N = 30) who completed semi-structured interviews. Results demonstrated that adults supporting scouting, inspiration from older peers, and opportunities to help others and explore new activities supported youth purpose.
... Empirical studies have shown that purpose in life has a positive relationship with life satisfaction, self-acceptance, hope, optimism, and competence (Boehm & Kubzansky, 2012;Bronk, Hill, Lapsley, Talib, & Finch, 2009. Moreover, having a sense of purposeful life has now been widely recognized as an important resource for maintaining mental health and well-being over a lifetime (McKnight, & Kashdan, 2009;Windsor, Curtis, & Luszcz, 2015). ...
... There are several reasons. First, purpose can foster behavioral consistency, driving people to overcome obstacles and to maintain focus on their goal (McKnight, & Kashdan, 2009). People with a purpose in life are inclined to be more consistent in their thoughts and behaviors. ...
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Understanding the factors that affect student engagement remains important in service learning. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between purpose in life, civic mindedness, class engagement in service learning, and personal need for structure. Especially, this study investigated the moderating effect of personal need for structure on the relationship between purpose in life and class engagement, as well as the relationship between civic mindedness and class engagement. A cross sectional non experimental design was adopted in this study. A total of 171 students were recruited from a service learning course designed in the 2018 and 2019 spring semesters at a large research university in the USA. SPSS statistical software and Hayes’ PROCESS were utilized to analyze the data. Study results showed that purpose in life is positively associated with civic mindedness β = .41, p < .01) and class engagement β = 0.21, p < .01). Also, civic mindedness is positively related to class engagement ( β = p < .01). Personal need for structure moderates the relationship between civic mindedness and class engagement ( β = 0. 38, p < .01). Theoretical and practical implications and limitations were also provided in this study.
... One construct of particular relevance on this front is a sense of purpose, based on its connections to positive cognitive and physical functioning in older adulthood (Pfund & Lewis, 2020). Having a sense of purpose involves greater life engagement with valued activities (Scheier et al., 2006), seemingly because purposeful individuals may be better able to organize their lives around their goals and self-defining ambitions (McKnight & Kashdan, 2009). ...
... However, these claims are necessarily speculative given the lack of previous work as well as the possibility that all associations hold the potential for bidirectionality. Again, purposeful individuals may be likely to build all these forms of assets, while avoiding debt, as a result of their better resource allocation in service of future goal pursuits (McKnight & Kashdan, 2009). ...
Article
Sense of purpose, a consistent promoter of successful aging across the lifespan, has been shown in previous research to decline during older adulthood. As such, research is needed to understand how to inform policies around promoting a sense of purpose for older adults, and which adults may need more assistance on this front. One potential mechanism for lower purpose in older adulthood could be due to the more limited financial assets many face following retirement. As such, the current study investigated the cross-sectional associations between different kinds of financial assets and sense of purpose among older adults from the 2006 and 2008 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (n = 9,380). Sense of purpose as well as four financial assets were assessed: physical assets, retirement account assets, investment account assets, and debts. Findings indicated that greater physical assets and retirement account assets predicted a higher sense of purpose, while debt and investment account assets did not. Furthermore, there were no moderating effects of different grouping variables, such as retirement status, race, marital status, subjective health, or wave, on the associations between total net worth and sense of purpose. Findings are discussed regarding why net worth matters for all, and why certain assets may be more important than others when promoting a sense of purpose.
... It can be furthermore assumed that the fulfilment of purpose needs leads to a longer life span, fewer health care problems, and greater life satisfaction. (McKnight & Kashdan, 2009). ...
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What are the scientific origins of the SMART goal-setting formula? What are the motivational needs of Generation Y? How can the SMART formula be renewed to match the expectations of Generation Y? Literature review and web research. Conceptual design. The SMART formula was found as an endemic, but non-scientific concept. A major limitation of the SMART acronym is its cognitive focus and framing. Motivational needs of Generation Y are not explicitly considered. Theoretical development of the new goal-setting formula SAVE for Generation Y: Specific, Attainable, Valuable, Elevated. https://www.journal-alm.org/article/view/22398
... Coherence represents the extent to which the individual feels that aspects of their life fit together in a comprehensible manner 18 . Purpose is the extent to which the individual perceives their life as being directed and motivated by valued goals [19][20][21] . Finally, existential mattering reflects "the degree to which individuals feel that their existence is of significance, importance, and value in the world" (ref. ...
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A key research program within the meaning in life (MIL) literature aims to identify the key contributors to MIL. The experience of existential mattering, purpose in life and a sense of coherence are currently posited as three primary contributors to MIL. However, it is unclear whether they encompass all information people consider when judging MIL. Based on the ideas of classic and contemporary MIL scholars, the current research examines whether valuing one’s life experiences, or experiential appreciation, constitutes another unique contributor to MIL. Across seven studies, we find support for the idea that experiential appreciation uniquely predicts subjective judgements of MIL, even after accounting for the contribution of mattering, purpose and coherence to these types of evaluations. Overall, these findings support the hypothesis that valuing one’s experiences is uniquely tied to perceptions of meaning. Implications for the incorporation of experiential appreciation as a fundamental antecedent of MIL are discussed. What do people mean when they say their lives are meaningful? Hicks and colleagues suggest that experiential appreciation, or valuing and appreciating one’s experiences, represents a unique pathway to the subjective feeling that life is meaningful.
... Purpose, meanwhile, is driven by the pursuit of multiple life goals. 52 As such, pain may interfere with one's ability to complete their goals, affecting one's purpose, as well as increasing stress or depression that in turn may contribute to pain chronification. 53,54 For instance, people with cancer whose goals were defined by career success, financial stability, and independence reported reduced purpose from before chemotherapy began to follow-ups months later. ...
Article
Objective: Meaning in life is consistently associated with better health outcomes across a range of mental and physical domains. However, meaning in life is a complex construct involving three distinct facets: coherence, purpose, and mattering. While these facets have been studied individually in relation to pain, they have not been assessed concurrently to parse out their potential distinct contributions to pain outcomes. We sought to identify the unique relationships of these individual facets of meaning with pain experiences and specify the components associated with pain-related resilience. Methods: The associations of coherence, purpose, and mattering with pain outcomes were examined across three studies. Study 1 used data from the Midlife in the United States National Survey to determine associations between facets and the frequency of various recently experienced pains, and the development of chronic pain nine years later. Study 2 cross-sectionally observed the association between facets and recent pain severity in young adults. Using a diary-type approach, Study 3 captured fluctuations of pain severity in relation to the facets across the span of four weeks. Results: Coherence was uniquely associated with less headache, backache, joint, and extremities pain frequency in Study 1, over and above purpose and mattering, controlling for other health variables. Coherence was also associated with lower odds of developing chronic pain. In Study 2, coherence was associated with less pain severity and fully mediated the relationship between global meaning in life and pain. Study 3 found that coherence predicted the most unique variance in weekly pain fluctuations. Conclusion: Across three studies and timescales, coherence was uniquely associated with fewer and less severe pain experiences over and above purpose and mattering. These findings provide support for the value of coherence as a resilience factor in the context of pain and suggest a potential benefit for coherence-specific interventions in clinical settings.
... In fact, there are many evidence-based interventions available in the therapeutic world, which target constructs such as self-acceptance (Hayes et al., 2006;Trujillo, 2021), purpose (Frankl, 1963;McKnight and Kashdan, 2009), personal growth (Russell, 1992), environmental mastery, and positive relationship with others. Some of these interventions have already been or can readily be adapted to help athletes in general and marathon running populations in particular. ...
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Running marathons is an increasingly popular activity with an ever-increasing number of events and participants. Many participants declare that they pursue a variety of goals by running, namely, the maintenance of good health, the development of strength and improvement of fitness, the management of emotions, and the achievement of resilience and psychological wellbeing (PWB). The research has examined marathon running, like many other sports, and has studied various factors that reduce athletic performance, such as the experience of anxiety, and that enhance such performance, such as an increase in general wellbeing. This article reports the results of a study on the experience of competitive anxiety among 238 male marathon runners who participated in Seville's (Spain) 26th Marathon race on February 23, 2020, and investigates the relationship between anxiety and key dimensions of wellbeing as measured by the Spanish-adapted 20-item PWB Scale. We hypothesized that participating athletes who rated high on the dimensions of PWB would experience lower levels of competitive anxiety with respect to this race. We also proposed that PWB would function as a mediating factor with respect to the experience of anxiety. The results show, as hypothesized, that marathon running enhances wellbeing and reduces anxiety. The data showed significant negative correlations between four of five wellbeing dimensions and the three types of anxiety measured, namely, somatic anxiety, worry, and concentration-impairing anxiety. Other findings supported our hypothesis that wellbeing, as measured, functions as a mediating factor for the moderation of competitive anxiety. Generalization of these findings is limited by the fact that the low number of female participants recruited did not permit valid statistical analyses in this respect. It is known that both anxiety and wellbeing are subjects to variation by gender. The future inclusion of male and female subjects in equivalent studies will undoubtedly add valuable information concerning the dynamics of anxiety and wellbeing. The implications of these findings and the limitations of the study will be discussed.
... In sum, many leading scholars seem to agree that experiencing meaning in life involves complex cognitive skills, such as integrating past, present, and future, reflecting on and making abstraction of the self and the world, and planning and coordinating complex sequences of behaviours and activities. Consequently, some scholars suggest that when confronted with cognitive decline, an individual's ability to generate and sustain a sense of meaning in life might be compromised [74][75][76]. Empirical investigations of this assumption are relatively scarce. ...
... In contrast, the purpose component may be a mechanism that facilitates goal-directed energy. Purpose also serves as a self-organizing principle that stimulates goals and manages behavior; it is imperative in guiding decisions about the use of finite resources and likely to lead to greater persistence (McKnight and Kashdan, 2009). Thus, a sense of WhyPower in ones' goals may lead to enhanced hope through providing energy and motivation with structure and direction (Mascaro and Rosen, 2005). ...
Article
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In this review of the central tenets of hope theory, we examine the meta-theoretical, theoretical, and methodological foundations of the literature base. Our analysis moves from a broad examination of the research landscape in hope theory across disciplines, to a deeper investigation of the empirical literature in university students. This review highlights the significant impact of this body of research in advancing our understanding of aspects of thriving characterized by hope. However, we also evidence several limitations that may impede the advancement of the next wave of growth in this field. To address these limitations, we argue for an interdisciplinary approach to expanding the meta-theoretical, theoretical, and methodological horizons, enabling a more dynamic systems approach to the study of hope. Drawing on the intersection of positive psychology with systems thinking, we describe a methodological approach that enables a deeper examination of the processes and interactions through which hope emerges, using an analysis of the lived experience of young people. It is proposed that this research agenda will bring to life an alternate story about the resourcefulness of our youth through their own voice, enabling us to leverage this in the design of more effective strategies to facilitate hope in the future. This research agenda provides a roadmap that will provide alternative methodologies that address the current limitations in the field of hope research and, importantly, can provide fuel to spur on the acceleration of the next wave of research and practice in the field of positive psychology more broadly.
... It has been referred to as an important component of human flourishing (Seligman, 2002). For McKnight and Kashdan (2009), purpose is the core aspect of an individual's identity that sets continuous targets for one to pursue. For Kashdan and McKnight (2009), purpose is a compass that provides direction to life. ...
Article
Gratitude has been linked with normal human functioning and well-being yet, its association with happiness and life satisfaction remains understudied among non clinical samples in collectivist cultures. Most studies on gratitude are focused on clinical settings and in individualist cultures. This study investigates the predictive strength of gratitude and purpose in life on life satisfaction among university undergraduates in Nigeria. Using a cross sectional research design, 390 university students were selected from 2 (public and private) universities. A questionnaire on socio-demographic profile, gratitude scale(r=0.84), purpose in life scale(r=0.96) and life satisfaction scale (r=0.90) was administered to participants. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, correlation analysis and regression analysis at 0.05 level of significance. Three hypotheses were tested. The results revealed that gratitude and purpose in life jointly and independently predicted life satisfaction (R 2 = .24; F = 62.56; p<.05). Being grateful and having purpose are crucial for a comprehensive examination of life satisfaction.
... Although many definitions of the construct of purpose exist in the literature (see Martela and Steger, 2016 for a review), most involve having a meaningful goal and working towards achieving it (Emmons, 2005;McKnight & Kashdan, 2009;Singer, 1996). Other scholars add different elements such as life's mattering (Heintzelman & King, 2014), positive affect (Battista & Almond, 1973), or a sense of authenticity (Leontiev, 2006). ...
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Development of purpose is an important goal of post-secondary education. This study advances the measurement of purpose by (a) enriching the construct through incorporating the facet of horizon; (b) providing a framework for Rasch/Guttman Scenario score interpretation; and (c) providing evidence of convergent, divergent, and known groups validity. Introduction Many higher education administrators and researchers argue that a college education is not only about future employability, but also about expanding a sense of purpose (see Glazer et al., 2017 for a review). Yet, in an age when metrics are a pervasive aspect of educational management and accountability, it is still difficult for colleges to measure reliably the presence and development of purpose in students; purpose is abstract and complex, requiring both a clear definition and a sophisticated measurement tool that can produce nuanced, interpretable, and actionable scores (Ludlow et al., 2021).
... As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in a matter of weeks, some of the most common pathways to the experience of meaning in life (King & Hicks, 2021) had become obfuscated or blocked entirely for most individuals. For instance, shelter-in-place mandates and job losses undermined many people's ability to derive purpose through their work (McKnight & Kashdan, 2009), experience the intrinsic pleasure associated with positive in-person social interactions (Lambert et al., 2013), and impeded participation in many of the routine behaviors that help life make sense (Heintzelman & King, 2019). Moreover, the incessant boredom associated with extended quarantine, chronic salience of our mortality, and anxiety about an impending global economic crisis have the potential to further disrupt the systems of meaning that people typically rely on to help navigate through life. ...
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This study examined the role of different psychological coping mechanisms in mental and physical health during the initial phases of the COVID-19 crisis with an emphasis on meaning-centered coping. Method: A total of 11,227 people from 30 countries across all continents participated in the study and completed measures of psychological distress (depression, stress, and anxiety), loneliness, well-being, and physical health, together with measures of problem-focused and emotion-focused coping, and a measure called the Meaning-centered Coping Scale (MCCS) that was developed in the present study. Validation analyses of the MCCS were performed in all countries, and data were assessed by multilevel modeling (MLM). Results: The MCCS showed a robust one-factor structure in 30 countries with good test-retest, concurrent and divergent validity results. MLM analyses showed mixed results regarding emotion and problem-focused coping strategies. However, the MCCS was the strongest positive predictor of physical and mental health among all coping strategies, independently of demographic characteristics and country-level variables. Conclusions: The findings suggest that the MCCS is a valid measure to assess meaning-centered coping. The results also call for policies promoting effective coping to mitigate collective suffering during the pandemic.
... Meaningfulness is a fundamental human and psychological need; when satisfied, it can lead to positives outcomes, such as work engagement, job satisfaction, life satisfaction, life expectancy, mental and physical health, wellbeing, meaning in life, organizational citizenship behaviors, self-rated job performance, and withdrawal intentions [47][48][49][50][51]; when unsatisfied, it can lead to negative outcomes, such as substance abuse, suicidal ideation, alienation, and poor workplace performance [50]. ...
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Positive Psychology has been devoted to enhancing well-being within organizations during the first two decades of the current millennium. Unfortunately, little data is available on current assessment related to positive psychology practices in the workplace. Therefore, to assess organizational well-being in a valid and reliable way, a new scale has been created and validated by the Institute for Wellbeing and Happiness at Tecmilenio University in Mexico: the BEAT Questionnaire, whose main contribution to previous models is the element of meaningful work. EFA and CFA were carried out to determine and confirm the scale’s structure; internal consistency tests were performed too; additionally, convergence with measures of engagement, labor resources, and worker relations were also confirmed, and discriminant validity was tested by comparing associations with job search intentions and negative relationships in the workplace, yielding an instrument with four clearly defined latent dimensions, composed by 24 highly consistent items, convergent with three other valid and reliable scales. All procedures complied with statistical requirements, delivering a valid and reliable instrument for measuring well-being in the workplace.
... In positive psychology, a meaningful life is a construct which relates to the identification of value and overarching goals that provide fulfilment, help people to grow and attain their potential (Kosine et al., 2008), and thus provides people with a mission or vision for life and directness (Ryff & Keyes, 1995). McKnight and Kashdan (2009) contented that positive meaning is related to resilience, successful coping with stressful life events, and the ability to pursue goals despite hardships. ...
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The extent to which school stakeholders perceive positive school attributes remains unclear in the literature. This study seeks to provide an understanding of positive school attributes from the school leaders and teachers’ perspectives in the Malaysian school context. This study employed a qualitative case study research design with 14 informants selected from seven Malaysian secondary schools. The thematic analysis informed six emerging themes: (1) stimulating positive emotion, (2) promoting positive engagement, (3) fostering positive relationships, (4) cultivating positive meaning, (5) nurturing positive accomplishment, and (6) cultivating spirituality in expressing positive school attributes. Fostering positive relationships were specified as (1) teacher-teacher relationship, (2) teacher-student relationship, and (3) student-student relationship. Cultivating spirituality is a newly emerged theme that is added to the unique positive school attributes. These newly added components of the existing PERMA model can trigger further research in positive education studies.
... Usually, the purpose of life is understood as a high-dimensional psychological structure integrated and constructed to satisfy needs and desires and pursue happiness [38]. In addition, the purpose of life can help us understand the origin and reality of human health as well as the success and happiness in career development [39]. Therefore, it can be seen clearly that both theoretical research and empirical research have gradually clarified the key role of the purpose of life in the active development of people [40]. ...
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The purpose of the present study is to examine the relationship between mindfulness and mental health of graduate students and the mediating effects of sense of purpose in life on mindfulness and mental health. The participants include 419 graduate students from 6 universities in China, and there are 190 males and 229 females. The Hayes Process is adopted to analyze the effects of the sense of purpose in life on mindfulness and mental health of graduate students. The results reveal that mindfulness can effect the mental health of graduate students positively and significantly. The sense of purpose in life is found to mediate the relationship between mindfulness and mental health. In further moderated mediation analyses, the effect of mindfulness on mental health can be adjusted by family economic condition. The type of degree can adjust the effect of mindfulness on sense of purpose, and academic Interest can adjust the mediating effect of sense of purpose. Finally, this study discusses several empirical and methodological implications of the findings.
... There are many different definitions of purpose (McKnight & Kashdan, 2009;Ryff, 1989) as well as examples of scholars using the terms purpose and meaning interchangeably (Frankl, 1946(Frankl, /2006. For the purpose of this study, we define purpose as "a stable and generalized intention to accomplish something that is at once meaningful to the self and of consequence to the world beyond the self" (Damon et al., 2003, p. 121). ...
Article
This qualitative descriptive study examined the process of purpose development of nine (seven females, two males; M age = 20.2, age range 18–21 years) college students who completed interviews in fall 2017 and spring 2019 at a private university. Across the two time points, participants engaged in an iterative process that led them to refine (i.e., narrow or specify) or redefine (i.e., change or adapt) their purpose or ultimate aims. Participants used the time between interviews to restructure their purpose in a way that integrated their experiences until they believed their purpose was best aligned with their skills, values, and interests. More specifically, consensual qualitative research analysis revealed seven themes that suggested ways in which participants acted to refine and/or redefine their purposes: (1) clarifying definition of purpose; (2) engaging known strengths or skills; (3) exploring new activities or experiences; (4) identifying a beyond-the-self intention that aligned with their purpose; (5) discerning the fit between their passions and interests with their circumstance or plans; (6) determining whether their strengths and skills aligned well with their purpose; and (7) integrating their passions into their beyond-the-self intention. A supplemental theme was added that outlines researchers’ observations about the features of participants’ purpose.
... Previous studies have shown a significant relationship between purpose in life and need satisfaction (DeWitz et al., 2009;Ryff, 1989). Purposes can buffer the negative effects of psychological instability and distress (McKnight & Kashdan, 2009;Van Dyke & Elias, 2007), thus making the person less susceptible to addictive behaviors (Newcomb & Harlow, 1986). Both crosssectional and longitudinal studies have shown a negative relationship between life goals and substance abuse such as nicotine and alcohol (Marsh et al., 2003;Newcomb & Harlow, 1986). ...
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This study examined the mediating role of self-control and goal striving in the relationship between need satisfaction, life goals and Internet addiction. A total number of 320 university students participated in this cross-sectional study. Participants completed the Need Satisfaction Scale, The Scale of Setting Life Goals with Respect to Positive Psychotherapy, Brief Self-Control Scale, Goal Striving Scale, Internet Addiction Test and Personal Information Form. Structural equation modeling and bootstrapping were used to test the hypothesized model. Structural equation modeling results provide evidence for indirect effects of need satisfaction on Internet addiction fully mediated by self-control and goal striving. Besides, goal striving and self-control fully mediated the relationship between life goals and Internet addiction. The findings emphasized the role of self-control and goal striving in explaining the relationship between life goals, need satisfaction and Internet addiction. The findings of the research were discussed in the light of the literature and research, and suggestions were presented.
... In sum, many leading scholars seem to agree that experiencing meaning in life involves complex cognitive skills, such as integrating past, present and future, reflecting on and making abstraction of the self and the world, and planning and coordinating complex sequences of behaviours and activities. Consequently, some scholars suggest that when confronted with cognitive decline, an individual's ability to generate and sustain a sense of meaning in life might be compromised [74][75][76]. Empirical investigations of this assumption are relatively scarce. Some neuroimaging evidence showed that higher functional connectivity in the medial temporal lobe of the brain was related to higher meaning in life scores [77] and a series of experiments showed that inviting people to mentally simulate events in the past/ future enhanced meaning in life ratings; for simulations of high subjective quality, meaning was rated even stronger [77,78]. ...
Chapter
Dementia is increasingly being recognised as a public health priority and poses one of the largest challenges we face as a society. At the same time, there is a growing awareness that the quest for a cure for Alzheimer's disease and other causes of dementia needs to be complemented by efforts to improve the lives of people with dementia. To gain a better understanding of dementia and of how to organize dementia care, there is a need to bring together insights from many different disciplines. Filling this knowledge gap, this book provides an integrated view on dementia resulting from extensive discussions between world experts from different fields, including medicine, social psychology, nursing, economics and literary studies. Working towards a development of integrative policies focused on social inclusion and quality of life, Dementia and Society reminds the reader that a better future for persons with dementia is a collective responsibility.
... Bireyin yaĢamda bulduğu anlam, ihtiyaçlarının ve kiĢisel değerlerinin etkileĢiminden oluĢmaktadır. KiĢinin değerleriyle örtüĢen ihtiyaçları; onu harekete geçirerek, önemli yaĢam amacı arayıĢına yönlendirmektedir (Emmons, 2003;McKnight ve Kashdan, 2009;Schnell, 2009). Bu arayıĢ, hayatın anlamlı bir Ģekilde kurgulanmasını sağlamaktadır (Schnell, 2009). ...
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Bu araştırmada; üniversite öğrencilerinin yaşamlarının anlam kaynaklarının neler olduğunu ortaya koymak, sahip olunan anlam kaynaklarına göre psikolojik iyi oluşun farklılaşıp farklılaşmadığını tespit etmek amaçlanmıştır. Bu amaç doğrultusunda, araştırmada tarama deseni çerçevesinde anket tekniği kullanılmıştır. Veriler açık ve kapalı uçlu soruların yer aldığı çevrimiçi anket formu aracılığıyla toplanmıştır. 1682 üniversite öğrencisinden elde edilen veriler içerik analizi ve ANOVA testiyle analiz edilmiştir. Elde edilen bulgular incelendiğinde; üniversite öğrencilerinde yaşamın anlam kaynakları (ifade edilme sırasına göre); duygusal bağlılık, esenlik, erdemli olma, bireysel gelişim, amaçlar, hedonizm, maneviyat, faydalı olma, özgüven ve para kazanmadır. Katılımcıların sadece %1,8‟i ise yaşamımın bir anlamı yok demiştir. Yaşama yüklenen anlama göre psikolojik iyi oluş düzeyleri incelendiğinde; yaşamında bir anlam bulanların, bulmayanlara göre psikolojik iyi oluş düzeyleri daha yüksektir. Bununla birlikte en yüksek psikolojik iyi oluş skoru hayatın anlamını “faydalı olma” olarak gören bireylere aittir.
... Thus, PIL is considered as one of the distinct components of MIL. Meaning sometimes, not always, drives the development of purpose, however when PIL is established, it helps in the development of MIL [11]. Thus, PIL and MIL are distinct constructs with temporal bidirectional relationship. ...
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Purpose in life (PIL) is a psychological construct that reflects one’s life goals and the desire or determination to pursue them. Having a purpose provides an intrinsic motivation to adopt healthy behaviors as we age, which will help us to achieve positive health outcomes. Thus, promoting PIL is the cornerstone for successful aging and better health outcomes. This systematic review aims to identify how PIL is conceptualized, measured in the existing literature and what are the determinants of PIL in older adults (≥65 years). Electronic searches were conducted in five databases (Medline, PsychInfo, Embase, CINAHL and Web of Science). A total of 44 studies were included in the review. PIL was conceptualized in six different ways: health and well-being, meaningful goals and purpose, inner strength, social relationships, mattering to others, and spirituality and religiousness. There were six main questionnaires and semi structured interviews used to capture PIL. Female gender, higher education and income, being married, ethnicity, health and well-being, inner strength, social integration and spirituality were associated with PIL. Majority of the included studies had low to moderate Risk of Bias (RoB) assuring confidence in the results. The conceptual frameworks of PIL identified in the review underscore the complexity of the construct. Several sociodemographic and other determinants of PIL were identified.
... Bireyin yaĢamda bulduğu anlam, ihtiyaçlarının ve kiĢisel değerlerinin etkileĢiminden oluĢmaktadır. KiĢinin değerleriyle örtüĢen ihtiyaçları; onu harekete geçirerek, önemli yaĢam amacı arayıĢına yönlendirmektedir (Emmons, 2003;McKnight ve Kashdan, 2009;Schnell, 2009). Bu arayıĢ, hayatın anlamlı bir Ģekilde kurgulanmasını sağlamaktadır (Schnell, 2009). ...
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ZET Bu araĢtırmada; üniversite öğrencilerinin yaĢamlarının anlam kaynaklarının neler olduğunu ortaya koymak, sahip olunan anlam kaynaklarına göre psikolojik iyi oluĢun farklılaĢıp farklılaĢmadığını tespit etmek amaçlanmıĢtır. Bu amaç doğrultusunda, araĢtırmada tarama deseni çerçevesinde anket tekniği kullanılmıĢtır. Veriler açık ve kapalı uçlu soruların yer aldığı çevrimiçi anket formu aracılığıyla toplanmıĢtır. 1682 üniversite öğrencisinden elde edilen veriler içerik analizi ve ANOVA testiyle analiz edilmiĢtir. Elde edilen bulgular incelendiğinde; üniversite öğrencilerinde yaĢamın anlam kaynakları (ifade edilme sırasına göre); duygusal bağlılık, esenlik, erdemli olma, bireysel geliĢim, amaçlar, hedonizm, maneviyat, faydalı olma, özgüven ve para kazanmadır. Katılımcıların sadece %1,8"i ise yaĢamımın bir anlamı yok demiĢtir. YaĢama yüklenen anlama göre psikolojik iyi oluĢ düzeyleri incelendiğinde; yaĢamında bir anlam bulanların, bulmayanlara göre psikolojik iyi oluĢ düzeyleri daha yüksektir. Bununla birlikte en yüksek psikolojik iyi oluĢ skoru hayatın anlamını "faydalı olma" olarak gören bireylere aittir.
... People who feel valued and purposeful in their lives, who feel like they are worthy members contributing to their communities tend do have a strong will to live (Joiner Jr. et al., 2005). It has been proposed that living a purposeful, meaningful life is incompatible with suicide (McKnight & Kashdan, 2009). Empirical research supports these theoretical assertions, as people who report high levels of presence of meaning in life report less suicidal ideation than people with low presence of meaning in life . ...
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Previous research indicates that sensation seeking, emotion dysregulation, and impulsivity are predictive of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). A body of research supports that meaning in life predicts improved mental health and well-being, including fewer suicidal thoughts and attempts, yet no research has examined the moderating effects of meaning in life on the relations between personality and temperament and NSSI. Given the growing incidence rates of NSSI among adolescents and the potential lifelong consequences of NSSI, it is imperative to better understand the factors that reduce the rates at which adolescents in a clinical sample engage in NSSI. The present study investigates if the protective factors of meaning in life moderate the relation between personality and temperament variables and NSSI among 126 adolescents (71% female, Mage = 16.1, SD = 1.1, range 13–18, 80% White) residing in an inpatient psychiatric hospital who endorsed NSSI in the last 12 months. Results from hurdle modeling indicate that two subtypes of meaning in life, presence of meaning in life and search for meaning of life, may serve as robust protective factors against engagement in NSSI among a clinical sample of adolescents. Additionally, results suggest that search for meaning, but not presence of meaning in life, variables moderate the relations between personality and temperament and NSSI. Results provide evidence that meaning in life is an understudied variable of importance in understanding how to prevent or treat NSSI. It also underscores the need to develop, refine, and test meaning-making interventions.
... Es sabido que a lo largo de su obra Frankl utilizó de modo indistinto los términos "propósito" y "sentido" para referirse al mismo constructo (Bronk, 2014). De igual forma, este uso indiferenciado se advierte en la inmensa mayoría de los trabajos que se ocuparon de esta área de interés (Crumbaugh, 1968;McKnight & Kashdan, 2009;Molasso, 2006;Ribeiro et al., 2020;Schimmoeller & Rothhaar, 2020;Steger et al., 2008). Sin embargo, resulta habitual encontrarse en la literatura con una u otra denominación de acuerdo a la decisión de cada autor. ...
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En este artículo teórico se revisan tres constructos implicados en una perspectiva salutogénica del ser humano y en la relación particular que mantiene con su propia vida: propósito o sentido en la vida, satisfacción con la vida y proyecto de vida. En primer lugar, se presenta una breve descripción de cada variable, para luego llegar a una articulación e integración entre ellas. Asimismo, se destaca el impacto que estos tres constructos psicológicos tienen en el desarrollo y devenir de la vida de cada persona, ya sea desde una perspectiva retrospectiva, presente o prospectiva.
... Having purpose in life leads to behavioral consistency, resilience, and psychological flexibility (McKnight & Kashdan, 2009). Meaning in life has been reported to have good short-term stability among undergraduate students over a period of 13 months (Steger & Kashdan, 2007). ...
Article
Meaning in life has been linked with academic and psychological outcomes. However, limited studies investigated the role of socioeconomic background on the association between meaning in life and persistence in the academic context. The present study examined the moderating role of socioeconomic background on the positive link between meaning in life and persistence among Fili-pino adolescents. This study involved a representative sample of 15-year-old high school students (N = 4512) from low-income (n = 1065) and high-income (n = 3447) regions in the Philippines. Data were extracted from OECD's Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018. The results revealed that meaning in life positively and significantly predicted persistence. Additionally , adolescents from high-income regions exhibited greater levels of persistence scores. Moderation analysis revealed that the positive association between meaning in life and persistence was stronger among adolescents from low-income regions, explaining that meaning in life is a salient internal psychological resource when economic resources are scarce. The findings provided insights on the dynamic interplay between meaning in life and socioeconomic factors in strengthening persistence among young individuals in a developing nation such as the Philippines. Implications for psychoeducational programs and interventions are discussed.
... It can label and marginalize that individual (Hill & Burrow, 2021), suggesting their personal aims and ambitions are insufficient. It suggests that purpose is no longer in the eye of the beholder, an assertion that inherently contradicts the belief that a purpose helps people to define and organize their selfconcepts (McKnight & Kashdan, 2009). Moreover, it also should be noted that worthwhileness is not actually assessed in studies showing the benefits of purpose. ...
Article
Researchers have discussed how best to define and measure purpose in life for decades, and this debate has been reinvigorated by recent work by Burrow et al. (2021), in their discussion of how to capture purpose development within a broader ecological context. However, in their commentary, Bronk and Damon (2021) have suggested that researchers also need to consider whether the individual's stated purpose in life merits development. We suggest here that multiple concerns present whenever researchers are placed in the seat of making decisions regarding whether an individual's purpose is "worthwhile," and how in turn this strategy may do more harm than good.
... These activities were meaningful and relevant to the men as they provided them with a 'sense of intentionality' (Irving et al., 2017, p. 404). Existing research suggests that purposeful engagement may foster resilience in the face of challenges and is associated with enhanced psychological wellbeing in later life (Burrow et al., 2014;Irving et al., 2017;McKnight & Kashdan, 2009). Higher levels of purpose in older adulthood have also been associated with ongoing community engagement and work and home routines, while loss of purpose has been brought on by retirement and loss of meaningful engagement in multiple roles (Irving et al., 2017;Windsor et al., 2015). ...
Article
Objective: We examined older men's body image, with a focus on the role of interpersonal relationships in shaping their psychological adaptation to age-related body changes to appearance, function, and health. Design: Qualitative narrative constructionist study. Main outcome measures: We conducted semi-structured interviews with 29 men aged 65-83. Data were analysed using thematic narrative analysis; we identified and interpreted patterns in and across the men's stories about their aging bodies. Results: Narratives of purpose through meaningful engagement and belonging through connection permeated the men's accounts. Participants mitigated body-related changes and challenges through pleasurable physical, leisure, and community activities. They derived purpose from these activities as they kept them physically, cognitively, and socially engaged and thus relevant with advancing age, particularly post retirement. The men derived a sense of belonging through social connections. Relationships with family, friends, and community members shaped their capacity for meaningful engagement and associated psychological adjustment to age-related body changes. Conclusion: The findings point to the imperative need to consider how men negotiate their constantly changing, aging bodies within the context of interpersonal relationships, and highlight the role that later life belonging and purpose play in shaping how men experience their bodies as they grow older.
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RESUMO: A relação entre identidade e projeto de vida tem sido assinalada tanto pelos marcos legais que definem o projeto de vida como eixo da educação básica no Brasil quanto pelos estudos sobre projeto de vida publicados no país e no exterior. Não obstante, documentos como a Base Nacional Comum Curricular e o Novo Ensino Médio não aportam fundamentos teóricos que possibilitem aos profissionais da educação conhecer como identidade e projeto de vida se constroem e se articulam, assim como compreender suas implicações pedagógicas. No plano acadêmico, por sua vez, a relação entre identidade e projeto de vida tem sido pouco tematizada de maneira explícita e sistemática. O presente artigo, de caráter teórico e inscrito na interface entre os campos da educação e da psicologia, explora as articulações entre estudos sobre projeto de vida e sobre identidade no que diz respeito à constituição, desenvolvimento e funcionamento desses construtos, bem como discute suas implicações para a educação. Para tanto, delimita o conceito de projeto de vida à perspectiva fundada pelo Centro de Estudos sobre a Adolescência da Universidade de Stanford (Estados Unidos), coordenado por William Damon, e circunscreve os processos de construção e funcionamento da identidade às abordagens de estados da identidade, identidade narrativa e identidade moral, cuja matriz comum é a obra de Erik Erikson. Palavras-chave: projeto de vida, identidade, estados da identidade, identidade narrativa, identidade moral. The relation between identity and purpose has been highlighted both by the legal frameworks that define purpose as the axis of basic education in Brazil and by studies on purpose published in the country and abroad. However, documents such as the Common National Curriculum Base and the New High School do not provide theoretical foundations that enable education professionals to know how identity and purpose are built and articulated, as well as to understand their pedagogical implications. At the academic level, in turn, the relationship between identity and purpose has been little discussed in an explicit and systematic way. This article, of a theoretical nature and inscribed at the interface between education and psychology, explores the articulations between studies on purpose and on identity with regard to the constitution, development and functioning of these constructs, as well as discusses their implications for education. Therefore, it defines the concept of life project according the perspective founded by the Center for Studies on Adolescence at Stanford University (United States), coordinated by William Damon, and circumscribes the processes of construction and functioning of identity to approaches to identity states, narrative identity and moral identity, whose common matrix is the work of Erik Erikson.
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Transition from adolescence to adulthood and the challenges it entails are often accompanied by a feeling of anxiety and confusion. As research has shown, emerging adults may be particularly vulnerable to various mental disorders. Meaning in life is one of the protective factors that is of great importance both for the mental health and well-being of an individual. The issue of the sense of meaning in life is particularly important in emerging adulthood, as searching for meaning in life may be treated as one of the developmental tasks of this period. The aim of the article is both to review the literature on meaning in life, with particular emphasis on its two dimensions: presence of and search for, and to present the preliminary results of research. The aim of the study was to explore the relationship between the sense of meaning in life, perceived stress and mental health among emerging adults in Poland. 120 emerging adults (between 18 and 29 years of age) participated in the study. Participants completed three questionnaires: the Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ), the General Health Questionnaire-28 (GHQ-28), and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). There was a negative relationship between presence of meaning in life and somatic and depressive symptoms and perceived stress. Among emerging adults, the search for meaning in life was significantly higher than the presence of meaning. The role of the search for meaning in the period of emerging adulthood as well as further research directions are discussed.
Article
Araştırmanın temel problemini Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt Üniversitesi’nde farklı fakültelerde öğrenim gören öğrencilerin yaşam amacı ve dindarlık düzeyleri arasındaki ilişki oluşturmaktadır. Araştırmada, yaşam amacı alt boyutlarından kişisel gelişim, maddi kazanç, fiziksel görünüm, sosyal sorumluluk ve bireysel farkındalık ile dindarlık arasındaki ilişkinin incelenmesi hedeflenmiştir. Çalışmada aynı zamanda katılımcıların demografik özellikler ile (cinsiyet, öğrenim görülen fakülte ve algılanan akademik başarı düzeyi) yaşam amacı alt boyutları arasında bulunan ilişki de tespit edilmiştir. Örneklem grubu İslami İlimler Fakültesi, Hukuk Fakültesi, Tıp Fakültesi, Mühendislik ve Doğa Bilimleri Fakültesi ve İşletme Fakültesinden toplam 317 katılımcıdan oluşmaktadır. Araştırmada Gülmez tarafından geliştirilen ‘Dindarlık Ölçeği’ ve Aydıner tarafından geliştirilen ‘Yaşam Amaçları Ölçeği’ kullanılmıştır. Elde edilen veriler SPSS 25 istatistik paket programında analiz edilmiştir. Elde edilen bulgulara göre yaşam amacı alt boyutları ve dindarlık arasında anlamlı ilişki saptanmıştır. Buna göre kişisel gelişim, sosyal sorumluluk ve bireysel farkındalık ile dindarlık arasında anlamlı pozitif yönlü, maddi kazanç ve fiziksel görünüm ile dindarlık arasında anlamlı ve negatif yönlü bir ilişki tespit edilmiştir.
Article
This study aims to examine the relationship between active coping and hope during the COVID-19 pandemic and investigate the underlying mechanism based on meaning making theory. We conducted a two-wave survey and recruited 521 Chinese adults (aged 18–65). Results show that all three active coping strategies (personal hygiene practice, support seeking, and positive reappraisal) at T1 was positively associated with T2 hope. Importantly, T2 meaning in life serves as a mediator between T1 active coping and T2 hope. Our findings suggest that active coping could be an effective approach to maintain mental health by making meaning and promoting hope.
Article
Background. Purpose in life is important to health and well-being; purpose disruption often goes unidentified after breast cancer. Purpose. To evaluate the efficacy of a purpose renewal intervention and utility of a screening question for identifying people with purpose-related distress. Method. In this prospective pretest-posttest study, participants with breast cancer received an 8-session purpose renewal group intervention (n = 35). Participants completed standardized measures of meaning and purpose at pretest, posttest, and two-month follow-up and a forced-choice Purpose Status Question (PSQ) at pretest. Findings. Participants made statistically significant pretest-to-posttest and pretest-to-follow-up improvements. The PSQ demonstrated construct validity: 40% of participants lacked purpose direction at pretest and this subgroup made significantly greater improvements than participants who reported purpose direction at pretest. Implications. The PSQ warrants further study as a screener to identify people with purpose-related distress. Many breast cancer survivors may benefit from a purpose in life intervention; a subgroup may benefit more.
Article
O objetivo deste estudo foi investigar os projetos de vida no início da adolescência, considerando o sexo e tipo de escola (pública, privada e do Serviço Social da Indústria - SESI). O estudo consistiu numa análise das redacções apresentados como parte do projecto “EPTV na Escola” de 2018. O corpus consistiu em 60 ensaios: 20 de cada uma das três escolas, subdivididos por género para dar um total de seis subgrupos de ensaios. Os dados foram analisados utilizando o software IRaMuTeQ. Os resultados mostram uma maior preocupação com o seu futuro entre as estudantes do sexo feminino, e mais alusões a bens materiais e um desejo de contribuir para a sua comunidade entre os sujeitos masculinos. Os estudantes das escolas públicas expressaram mais dúvidas sobre a profissão a escolher, os das escolas privadas mostraram maior preocupação com os assuntos financeiros, e os das escolas do SESI foram considerados mais decididos sobre o seu futuro. Os resultados deste estudo podem contribuir para a construção de conhecimentos sobre os projectos de vida dos adolescentes, principalmente no que diz respeito à fase do início da adolescência. Estes conhecimentos podem ajudar a orientar o trabalho dos professores e outros profissionais na área da Educação implicados na tarefa de transmitir projectos de vida.
Article
Childhood adversity is linked to poor cardiometabolic outcomes, but less is known about positive childhood factors. Using data from 4,007 members of the 1958 British Birth Cohort, we investigated whether children with greater psychological well-being had lower adulthood cardiometabolic risk. At age 11, participants wrote essays about their future. Two judges rated each essay for nine psychological well-being items (Finn’s r = .82–.91), which were combined into a standardized overall score (Cronbach’s α = .91). When participants reached age 45, nurses assessed their blood pressure, heart rate, lipids, glycosylated hemoglobin, fibrinogen, and C-reactive protein, which were standardized and summed for total cardiometabolic risk. Regressions indicated that children with greater psychological well-being had lower cardiometabolic risk ( b = −0.14, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [−0.28, −0.006]): specifically, healthier total cholesterol ( b = −0.04, 95% CI = [−0.07, −0.003]) and triglycerides ( b = −0.06, 95% CI = [−0.09, −0.02]). Childhood psychological well-being may promote adulthood cardiometabolic health.
Article
Background Sense of purpose, the feeling that one's life is goal-oriented and driven, tends to be protective for psychological health. Less is known about its relation with social health, particularly loneliness. We test whether the cross-sectional association between purpose and loneliness is replicable and whether purpose protects against the development of incident loneliness over time. Methods Participants from 36 cohorts (total N = 135,227; age range 18–109) reported on their sense of purpose, loneliness, and psychological distress. Follow-up measures of loneliness were available in 28 cohorts that ranged from six weeks to 15 years. Prospective, random-effect meta-analysis was used to summarize the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations from each cohort. Results Sense of purpose was associated significantly with less loneliness in all 36 cohorts, controlling for sociodemographic factors (meta-analytic mean effect estimate = −0.31, 95% CI = −0.34, −0.29, p < .001). This association was stronger among participants experiencing concurrent severe psychological distress. Sense of purpose was protective against the development of new incident loneliness (meta-analytic mean hazard ratio estimate = 0.85, 95% CI = 0.82, 0.87, p < .001). Age did not moderate any of the associations. Limitations Limitations include the lack of lower-income countries. The mechanisms that explain this association also need to be identified in future research. Conclusions Sense of purpose is associated with less loneliness and with protection against developing loneliness over time, associations that replicated across cohorts from North America, South America, Europe, and the Middle East. Sense of purpose may be a useful target of intervention to prevent or reduce loneliness, especially among individuals suffering from psychological distress.
Article
People feel that their lives are more meaningful while engaging in behaviors more closely aligned with their routines. Does the behavioral content of these routines and the contextual factors surrounding their enactment matter for this relationship? In two experience sampling studies ( N = 93, 1,512 episodes; N = 97, 1,629 episodes), we test whether the relationship between routines and meaning in life (MIL) depends on the content of the activities. We found that the degree to which one’s current activity is a routine positively related to momentary MIL beyond other meaningful features (e.g., relationships, goals, prosociality) of that activity. We conducted Study 2 in the context of mass routine disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. We found even stronger relationships between routine enactment and concurrent MIL in this context which held controlling for factors, including perceived chaos, mood, and anxiety. These findings suggest that routines uniquely relate to MIL, beyond the meaningfulness of their content and across contexts.
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The relationship between identity and life purpose has been highlighted both by the legal frameworks that define the life purpose as the axis of basic education in Brazil and by studies on life purpose published in the country and abroad. Nevertheless, documents such as the Common National Curricular Base and the New High School do not provide theoretical foundations that would enable education professionals to know how identity and life purpose are constructed and articulated, as well as to understand their pedagogical implications. At the academic level, in turn, the relationship between identity and life purpose has been little discussed explicitly and systematically. The present article, of a theoretical nature and inscribed in the interface between the fields of education and psychology, explores the articulations between studies on life purpose and identity concerning the constitution, development, and functioning of these constructs, and discusses their implications for education. To do so, it delimits the concept of life purpose to the perspective founded by the Center for Adolescence Studies at Stanford University (United States), coordinated by William Damon, and circumscribes the processes of identity construction and functioning to the approaches of identity status, narrative identity and moral identity, whose common matrix is the work of Erik Erikson.
Article
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RESUMO: A relação entre identidade e projeto de vida tem sido assinalada tanto pelos marcos legais que definem o projeto de vida como eixo da educação básica no Brasil quanto pelos estudos sobre projeto de vida publicados no país e no exterior. Não obstante, documentos como a Base Nacional Comum Curricular e o Novo Ensino Médio não aportam fundamentos teóricos que possibilitem aos profissionais da educação conhecer como identidade e projeto de vida se constroem e se articulam, assim como compreender suas implicações pedagógicas. No plano acadêmico, por sua vez, a relação entre identidade e projeto de vida tem sido pouco tematizada de maneira explícita e sistemática. O presente artigo, de caráter teórico e inscrito na interface entre os campos da educação e da psicologia, explora as articulações entre estudos sobre projeto de vida e sobre identidade no que diz respeito à constituição, ao desenvolvimento e ao funcionamento desses construtos, bem como discute suas implicações para a educação. Para tanto, delimita o conceito de projeto de vida à perspectiva fundada pelo Centro de Estudos sobre a Adolescência da Universidade de Stanford (Estados Unidos), coordenado por William Damon, e circunscreve os processos de construção e funcionamento da identidade às abordagens de estados da identidade, identidade narrativa e identidade moral, cuja matriz comum é a obra de Erik Erikson.
Article
Problematic smartphone use (PSU) has become an increasingly serious social issue that gradually impairs adolescents' daily social functioning. This study aimed to examine the potential contribution of harsh parenting (HP) to PSU by testing a two-mediator model in which meaning in life (MIL) and self-control (SC) were hypothesized to be two mediators. The moderating role of gender was also examined. Eight hundred and twenty-eight middle school students from rural areas in China (mean age = 13.04) reported on harsh parenting, MIL, self-control, and PSU. Both parents also reported on each other's harsh parenting and their child's self-control. Multi-group structural equation modeling analyses revealed gender differences in the association patterns among the model variables. Harsh parenting was only indirectly associated with PSU for both boys and girls. MIL and self-control completely mediated the relation between harsh parenting and PSU in sequential manners for boys and girls. And for boys, beyond the common path from harsh parenting to PSU, another indirect path existed from harsh parenting to self-control to PSU. But jointly, MIL and self-control precipitate more indirect effects for girls than for boys in the association between harsh parenting and PSU. Findings suggested that harsh parenting was detrimental to adolescents' MIL and self-control, which enhances their risk for PSU, especially for girls. These findings provide more insights for efforts to prevent adolescents from PSU.
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The same rule which regulates the relative value of commodities in one country does not regulate the relative value of the commodities exchanged between two or more countries. Under a system of perfectly free commerce, each country naturally devotes its capital and labor to such employments as are most beneficial to each. This pursuit of individual advantage is admirably connected with the universal good of the whole. By stimulating industry, by rewarding ingenuity, and by using most efficaciously the peculiar powers bestowed by nature, it distributes labor most effectively and most economically: while, by increasing the general mass of productions, it diffuses general benefit, and binds together, by one common tie of interest and intercourse, the universal society of nations throughout the civilised world. It is this principle which determines that wine shall be made in France and Portugal, that corn sell be grown in America and Poland, and that hardware and other goods shall be manufactured in England…
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Most authors have accepted the notion that A has power over B to the extent that A can get B to do what he wants B to do. However, they should have asked themselves, “How can A do so? What is it that A must manipulate in doing so?” This paper argues that it is B's essential data that A must manipulate, and presents a formulation of the interaction between A and B following this line of thought. It is also shown that the condition for the stable equilibrium is related to the law of “comparative advantage.” Some of the important concepts in international politics, such as hegemony and balance of power, are explained in the same way.
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Although goal theorists have speculated about the causes and consequences of making progress at personal goals, little longitudinal research has examined these issues. In the current prospective study, participants with stronger social and self-regulatory skills made more progress in their goals over the course of a semester. In turn, goal progress predicted increases in psychological well-being, both in short-term (5-day) increments and across the whole semester; At both short- and long-term levels of analysis, however, the amount that well-being increased depended on the "organismic congruence" of participants' goals. That is, participants benefited most from goal attainment when the goals that they pursued were consistent with inherent psychological needs. We conclude that a fuller understanding of the relations between goals, performance, and psychological well-being requires recourse to both cybernetic and organismic theories of motivation.
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Objective The chronic stress of caregiving may lead to sympathetic nervous system activation and immune suppression. β2-adrenergic receptors are expressed on all immune cells and contribute to the stress-induced loss of immune-cell function. The authors examined the effects of being a spousal caregiver of a patient with Alzheimer disease (AD) on the lymphocyte β2-adrenergic receptor. Methods One hundred and six women and men, spousal caregivers and non-caregivers, participated (mean age: 71.5 years). Caregivers were classified as either vulnerable or non-vulnerable on the basis of the amount of care required by the patient relative to the amount of respite the caregiver received during the previous 6 months. β2-adrenergic receptor sensitivity (cyclic-AMP response to isoproterenol stimulation) and density (radioligand binding) were determined by use of whole lymphocytes. Results Vulnerable caregivers had reduced β2-adrenergic receptor sensitivity and density when compared with their non-vulnerable counterparts or with non-caregivers. Conclusion The findings indicate that for more vulnerable caregivers, the stress of caregiving leads to a loss of lymphocyte β2-adrenergic receptors. This finding may be relevant to previous observations of clinically-relevant reduced immunity in highly stressed caregivers of AD patients.
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Drawing on previous models of anxiety, intermediate memory, the positive symptoms of schizophrenia, and goal-directed behaviour, a neuropsychological hypothesis is proposed for the generation of the contents of consciousness. It is suggested that these correspond to the outputs of a comparator that, on a moment-by-moment basis, compares the current state of the organism's perceptual world with a predicted state. An outline is given of the information-processing functions of the comparator system and of the neural systems which mediate them. The hypothesis appears to be able to account for a number of key features of the contents of consciousness. However, it is argued that neitherthis nor any existing comparable hypothesis is yet able to explain why the brain should generate conscious experience of any kind at all.
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Two studies examined the role of religious commitment in moderating the relationship between positive affect (PA) and meaning in life. In Study 1, Sample 1, religiosity was found to moderate the relationship between naturally occurring PA and meaning in life, showing that high levels of religiosity attenuated the effects of PA on meaning in life. In Study 1, Sample 2, religiosity similarly moderated the effects of induced mood on meaning in life. In addition, this pattern of results was shown to be unique to meaning in life compared to another life domain (life satisfaction). In Study 2, subliminally priming Christians with positive religious words (e.g., “Heaven”) was further shown to weaken the association between PA and meaning in life, whereas subliminal primes of negative religious words (e.g., “hell”) weakened the association between religious commitment and meaning in life. A competition of cues model is proposed to account for these effects.
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Interest in mindfulness and its enhancement has burgeoned in recent years. In this article, we discuss in detail the nature of mindfulness and its relation to other, established theories of attention and awareness in day-to-day life. We then examine theory and evidence for the role of mindfulness in curtailing negative functioning and enhancing positive outcomes in several important life domains, including mental health, physical health, behavioral regulation, and interpersonal relationships. The processes through which mindfulness is theorized to have its beneficial effects are then discussed, along with proposed directions for theoretical development and empirical research.
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Three aspects of the self (private, public, collective) with different probabilities in different kinds of social environments were sampled. Three dimensions of cultural variation (individualism–collectivism, tightness–looseness, cultural complexity) are discussed in relation to the sampling of these three aspects of the self. The more complex the culture, the more frequent the sampling of the public and private self and the less frequent the sampling of the collective self. The more individualistic the culture, the more frequent the sampling of the private self and the less frequent the sampling of the collective self. Collectivism, external threat, competition with outgroups, and common fate increase the sampling of the collective self. Cultural homogeneity results in tightness and in the sampling of the collective self. The article outlines theoretical links among aspects of the environment, child-rearing patterns, and cultural patterns, which are linked to differential sampling of aspects of the self. Such sampling has implications for social behavior. Empirical investigations of some of these links are reviewed.
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Some currently proposed strategies for educational and employment selection are based on a group-parity concept of fairness toward groups of persons identifiable by race, ethnicity, or other variables. Technical weaknesses in these strategies have been previously discussed by N. S. Petersen and M. R. Novick, L. J. Cronbach, and R. B. Darlington in the Journal of Educational Measurement (13:1, 1976). The present paper reviews and extends those discussions and examines the social and legal foundations of the group-parity concept. Because this concept is viewed as socially undesirable and its consistency with basic constitutional principles is questioned, this paper suggests that a socially desirable and constitutionally acceptable selection strategy can be fashioned more readily by the use of the formalism of statistical decision theory. Consideration would thus be given not to a person's race, sex, or ethnic group (except in a very few narrowly defined cases), but to the relative advantage or disadvantage experienced by a person and to the utility of the contribution to society that can be expected from that person as a result of any particular allocation of resources or comparative advantage. The major implication of this analysis is that the field of educational and psychological measurement needs to be broadened to include the measurement of individual disadvantage and individual utilities. (20 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Recent years have witnessed an upsurge of interest among theorists and researchers in autobiographical recollections, life stories, and narrative approaches to understanding human behavior and experience. An important development in this context is D. P. McAdams's life story model of identity (1985; see also records 1993-97296-000 and 1996-06098-001), which asserts that people living in modern societies provide their lives with unity and purpose by constructing internalized and evolving narratives of the self. The idea that identity is a life story resonates with a number of important themes in developmental, cognitive, personality, and cultural psychology. This article reviews and integrates recent theory and research on life stories as manifested in investigations of self-understanding, autobiographical memory, personality structure and change, and the complex relations between individual lives and cultural modernity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The pursuit of happiness is an important goal for many people. However, surprisingly little scientific research has focused on the question of how happiness can be increased and then sustained, probably because of pessimism engendered by the concepts of genetic determinism and hedonic adaptation. Nevertheless, emerging sources of optimism exist regarding the possibility of permanent increases in happiness. Drawing on the past well-being literature, the authors propose that a person's chronic happiness level is governed by 3 major factors: a genetically determined set point for happiness, happiness-relevant circumstantial factors, and happiness-relevant activities and practices. The authors then consider adaptation and dynamic processes to show why the activity category offers the best opportunities for sustainably increasing happiness. Finally, existing research is discussed in support of the model, including 2 preliminary happiness-increasing interventions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This volume describes an approach to the treatment of the suicidal elderly that is based upon the affirmation of life. It is a practical work that presents the psychotherapeutic procedures I have found most effective. The major modalities—of crisis intervention, family, group, and individual therapy—are examined in the context of a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach. I am concerned with all forms of suicide in the elderly, including indirect self-destructive behavior. My primary focus, however, is upon the treatment and prevention of direct suicidal reactions. This book explores some of the major social, biological, situational, and psychological conditions associated with elderly suicide, how to recognize the strengths and assets of the elderly, as well as the foundations of theory, assessment, and practice for the therapist. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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We propose a taxonomy of emotional disturbances composed of (a) emotional valence disturbances, (b) emotional intensity/regulation disturbances, and (c) emotion disconnections. Our rationale for developing such a taxonomy is that it can draw additional attention to the importance of emotional disturbances and can provide a framework for organizing both what we already know and what we have yet to explore. We believe such an effort is important because emotional disturbances, which are ubiquitous among individuals with psychopatholog-ical conditions, can provide incremental predictive power above and beyond traditional diagnostic categories. We discuss the potential clinical utility of our proposed taxonomy and provide recommendations for future research.
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This paper reports the results of a dynamic programming model which optimizes resource allocation to growth, reproduction and repair of somatic damage, based on the disposable soma theory of ageing. Here it is shown that different age-dependent patterns of reproductive rates are products of optimal lifetime strategies of resource partitioning. The array of different reproductive patterns generated by the model includes those in which reproduction begins at the maximum rate at maturity and then declines to the end of life, or increases up to a certain age and then drops. The observed patterns reflect optimal resource allocation shaped by the level of extrinsic mortality. A continuous decline in the reproductive rate from the start of reproduction is associated with high extrinsic mortality, and an early increase in the reproductive rate occurs under low extrinsic mortality. A long-lived organism shows a low reproductive rate early in life, and short-lived organisms start reproduction at the maximum rate.