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Exploring and assessing meaning in life in elementary school children: Development and validation of the meaning in life in children questionnaire (MIL-CQ)

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Abstract

Meaning in life, which is almost unanimously recognized as a fundamental component of subjective well-being, has received little research attention when it comes to children, presumably due to a lack of suitable measurement tools for this age range. This study provides evidence for the internal consistency, factor structure, and validity of the Meaning in Life in Children Questionnaire (MIL-CQ), a new 21-item self-report measure of the presence and the sources of meaning in life in children, based on Viktor Frankl's concept of the ‘meaning triangle’ (Frankl, 1959). The MIL-CQ was administered to 1957 elementary school children aged 9–12 in two diverse samples from several cities in Israel. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses supported a 3-factor structure (creative, experience, and attitude), representing different sources of meaning in life. Children's level of meaning in life was positively associated with their life satisfaction and positive affectivity (higher positive emotions and lower negative emotions), and negatively with social and emotional difficulties. Girls reported significantly higher overall meaning in life than boys, and lower levels of social, emotional and behavioral problems. Theoretical and research implications of these findings are discussed.

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... One reason hindering the empirical understanding of young adolescents' MIL might be the lack of reliable and valid instruments. Shoshani and Russo-Netzer (2017) posited that existing measures contain highly abstract and general formulations of MIL; these are not appropriate for use with young adolescents because the items are too difficult for them to understand. Accordingly, the MIL in Children Questionnaire (MIL-CQ) was developed to facilitate accurate assessment of MIL in children aged 9-12 (Shoshani and Russo-Netzer, 2017). ...
... Shoshani and Russo-Netzer (2017) posited that existing measures contain highly abstract and general formulations of MIL; these are not appropriate for use with young adolescents because the items are too difficult for them to understand. Accordingly, the MIL in Children Questionnaire (MIL-CQ) was developed to facilitate accurate assessment of MIL in children aged 9-12 (Shoshani and Russo-Netzer, 2017). In this study, we sought to validate the Korean version of the MIL-CQ to facilitate robust empirical research on MIL in children. ...
... The original MIL-CQ has its foundation in Frankl's (1959) "meaning triangle" pathways, namely, creative, experiential, and attitudinal. These pathways have been utilized in intervention protocols with both children and adults dealing with mental health difficulties or challenging life events such as severe physical illness (Greenstein and Breitbart, 2000;Kang et al., 2013), as well as a wide range of cognitive, interpersonal, behavioral, and emotional experiences related to meaning in daily life in a relatively concrete manner (Shoshani and Russo-Netzer, 2017). According to Shoshani and Russo-Netzer (2017), the first subscale of the MIL-CQ captures the creative pathway toward discovering MIL, which assesses children's sense of meaning developing from their self-concordant actions, deeds, everyday behaviors, and habits. ...
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Meaning in life (MIL) has been widely recognized as a hallmark of psychological well-being and positive youth development. The goal of this study was to validate the Korean version of the Meaning in Life in Children Questionnaire (K-MIL-CQ) utilizing the framework suggested by the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. Data were obtained from 277 fifth graders aged 10–11 in three elementary schools in Seoul and Gyeonggi through a paper-and-pencil survey (55.2% boys). We translated the MIL-CQ, a 21-item self-report measure developed based on Frankl’s “meaning triangle,” into Korean. Psychological well-being measures were also assessed. Validity and reliability data were collected. (1) The content of domains and items was appropriate for measuring MIL among children. (2) A three-factor model consisting of attitude, creativity, and experience pathways was extracted via exploratory factor analysis, and a three-factor hierarchical model including attitude, creativity, and experience as first-order factors and MIL as a second-order factor was confirmed via confirmatory factor analysis. (3) Higher levels of MIL were related to higher levels of satisfaction with life, self-esteem, positive affectivity, and lower levels of negative affectivity. (4) All item fit statistics were acceptable based on the Rasch model. (5) The analysis of the measurement invariance of each item showed that the responses to one item varied by gender, suggesting that additional items might facilitate better measurement of MIL in children. This study provides validity and reliability evidence that K-MIL-CQ is appropriate for measuring MIL among South Korean elementary school students.
... Items are scored on a 3-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (not true) to 3 (certainly true). The Hebrew version of the inventory used in this study has demonstrated excellent criterion validity for children (Mansbach-Kleinfeld et al., 2010;Shoshani et al., 2016a;Shoshani and Russo-Netzer, 2017). The Cronbach's alpha coefficients for the subscales in this study ranged from 0.73 to 0.87. ...
... The scale assesses the child's satisfaction with his or her life as a whole using a seven-point Likert scale, ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (7). A previous study provides evidence for good reliability and validity of the Hebrew version of the scale (Shoshani and Russo-Netzer, 2017). In this study, the SWLS-C yielded a satisfactory Cronbach's alpha (alpha coefficient = 0.77). ...
... Noticeable differences were found between 7-and 8.9-year olds as compared to 9-to 12-year olds, including lower levels of interpersonal, transcendence, temperance strengths, emotional well-being and school engagement. Because cognitive and emotional maturity increase with age, children in late childhood (9-12) as compared to the earlier childhood years may more easily establish relationships, regulate their emotions and behaviors, and may be more active in constructing meaning and positively interpreting their experiences (Shoshani and Russo-Netzer, 2017). However, the relatively small number of studies that have dealt with character strengths and subjective well-being has made it difficult to interpret these age trends, and indicate that much more research is needed to better understand character development in various cultures and its relationship to children's subjective well-mental health. ...
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Although research on character strengths has flourished in recent years, the paucity of suitable quantitative instruments for the assessment of children's character strengths limits the study of character development in childhood. The Character Strengths Inventory for Children (CSI-C) is a new self-report character inventory for children that was designed for easy administration directly to elementary school-aged children. The CSI-C provides an evaluation of 24 character strengths defined in Peterson and Seligman's Values in Action Classification of Strengths. Data from two samples of 2,061 Israeli children aged 7-12 support the constructs of the instrument. Principal component analysis and confirmatory factor analysis of the 96 CSI-C items revealed preliminary evidence for a hierarchical structure with 24 lower factors nested within four higher-order latent factors: interpersonal, transcendence, intellectual, and temperance strengths. Children's interpersonal and temperance strengths were negatively associated with mental health difficulties, and their temperance and transcendence strengths were positively associated with subjective well-being. The intellectual and temperance strengths were correlated with children's school functioning and grit. The potential uses of the CSI-C in research and practice are discussed.
... Significant correlations were found between the data of the test on noo-dynamics and self-reported and peer-reported pupils' prosocial behavior, as well as between positive noo-dynamics and interiorized and stereotyped PMR (Brestovanský et al., 2014;Rajský & Podmanický, 2016). Shoshani and Russo-Netzer (2017) found moderate correlations between prosocial behavior and meaning in life in all three subscales (attitude, creativity and experience). ...
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The aims of our study were to investigate the longitudinal paths of relations between prosocial moral reasoning, prosocial behavior and life meaningfulness in young adolescents. Data were collected at four timepoints (T1-T4) over 5 years using a prosocial behavior questionnaire (Roche & Sol, 1998), a questionnaire on prosocial moral reasoning (PRM) (Carlo, Eisenberg, & Knight, 1992), a revised version of the noo-dynamics test (Popielski, 1991), and the Life Meaningfulness Scale (Halama, 2002). The research sample consisted of 351 participants (49.30% female, M age = 11.93; SD =.43) in the first phase (T1-T2), and 343 students (41.6% females; M age = 14.65; SD =.57) participating in the second phase (T3-T4). Path model 1, which included relations between prosocial moral reasoning (T1, T2), self-reported prosocial behavior (T1, T2) and salutogenic noo-dynamics (Popielski, 1991), has not found the necessary support in the data. However, path model 2, which included relations between prosocial moral reasoning (T3, T4), self-reported prosocial behavior (T3, T4) and life meaningfulness (Halama, 2002) in adolescents aged 14-15 years old, shows a good fit to the data.
... It is based on Viktor Frankl's concept of the "meaning triangle" (Frankl, 1959), which claims that children's sources of meaning revolve around three main dimensions: (1) Creativity-what individuals give to the world in terms of their creations, or children's capability to contribute and make a difference in their surroundings; (2) Experience-what the individual takes from the world in terms of experiences and encounters, or a sense of inspiration and connection to the world around them (e.g., nature, art, relationships) and to meaningful relationships; and (3) Attitude or taking a stand-the manner in which children approach unavoidable challenges in life. Using this scale, it was found that children's level of meaning in life was positively associated with their life satisfaction and positive affectivity (i.e., higher positive emotions and lower negative emotions) and negatively associated with social and emotional difficulties (Shoshani & Russo-Netzer, 2017). These dimensions provide three distinct applicable pathways for cultivating meaning in life among children in particular and a fertile ground for healthy development in general. ...
Article
Education is among the most powerful gateways to social change and mobility. It is also a potentially vital backbone for the development of young people’s sense of meaning, purpose, and responsibility, enhancing their ability to face the unique challenges of our volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) world. The global scale of the current wave of political and social changes heightens the need for a renewed examination of the educational system and its challenges. This paper asserts the importance of education for meaning and meaningful education as essential ingredients in preparing children and adolescents for the changing and uncertain world of the future. Yet meaning in life, which is almost unanimously recognized as a fundamental component of subjective well-being, has received little attention in education. This paper considers empirical evidence of the importance of meaning to the education and healthy development of children and adolescents and then proposes a heuristic model for intervention.
... Yet, as reported by Park and Peterson [3], self-report questionnaires are a limitation in research with very young children due to their level of language development and cognitive maturation. Similarly, the aspects of "meaning" are difficult to include in interventions with young children [72] if researchers are to apply all of the five conditions of the PERMA model to assess well-being. ...
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Over the last 20 years, the effectiveness of positive psychology interventions for the development of the well-being of children and adolescents and the moderation of high levels of anxiety and depression in this population has been largely demonstrated. Emphasis has been placed on the promotion of well-being and prevention of mental health problems in the school context in order to foster, through positive psychology, the cognitive and socio-emotional development of primary and secondary students, e.g., by strengthening positive relationships, positive emotions, character strengths, optimism, and hope. However, little is known about the impact of these interventions on young children. This systematic review aims at examining the effects of positive psychology interventions on the well-being of early childhood children (<6 years old), both in the preschool education context with educators or teachers and also in the family context with parents. Several electronic databases were searched, and the findings systematically reviewed and reported by the PRISMA guidelines. Very few studies met the inclusion criteria (n = 3), highlighting the need for further research in this area. Indeed, all of the selected studies demonstrated the importance of positive psychology interventions with young children to promote positive aspects of development, such as gratitude, positive emotions, life satisfaction, accomplishment, positive relationship, or self-esteem. Limitations in the field are discussed.
... However, this conclusion is controversial. A previous study has found that women had higher life meaning scores than men (25). This difference may be related to differences in the lifestyles and cultures of people in different regions. ...
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Objective: This study aimed to explore the relationship between life meaning and subjective well-being among older people and the mediating role of subjective exercise identification and objective amount of exercise. Methods: A total of 352 older respondents completed four questionnaires: the Chinese life meaning scale, the University of Newfoundland Happiness Scale, the physical activity habits questionnaire, and the exercise identification questionnaire designed for this study. Results: Gender differences existed in the respondents' perception of life meaning, and men had a better perception of life meaning ( t = 2.28, SE = 0.63, p < 0.05). There were age differences in the subjective well-being of older people ( F = 5.69, partial η ² = 0.03, p < 0.01); the subjective well-being of older individuals steadily declines with rising age. Life meaning not only directly affected the subjective well-being of the respondents but also indirectly influenced their subjective well-being through the following three pathways: life meaning → exercise identification → subjective well-being (mediating effect of 22%); life meaning → amount of exercise → subjective well-being (mediating effect of 22%); and life meaning → exercise identification → amount of exercise → subjective well-being (serial multiple mediation effect of 27%). Conclusion: The more positive the life meaning perception of older people is, the higher their experience of subjective well-being. For older people to sense the meaning of life, we recommend that they realize the importance of physical activities and take the initiative to engage in physical activities to obtain higher subjective well-being.
... The Purpose in Life test-Short Form (PIL-SF; Schulenberg et al., 2011) is a brief fouritem valid and reliable version of the PIL presenting unique psychometric contributions beyond other meaning assessment tools. Recently, Shoshani and Russo-Netzer (2017) developed the Meaning in Life in Children Questionnaire (MIL-CQ), a 21-item instrument that measures the presence and sources of meaning in life in children, based on Frankl's categorical values, and Russo-Netzer (2018a) proposed the construct of "prioritizing meaning, " positively associated with well-being. ...
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The global COVID -19 pandemic has triggered a wide variety of psychological crises worldwide. In order to respond rapidly and efficiently to the complex challenges, mental health professionals are required to adopt a multidimensional and integrative view. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) founded by Albert Ellis promotes rationality and self-acceptance. Logotherapy, pioneered by Viktor Frankl potentiates meaning and resilience. Both approaches are complementary and mutually enriching. The goal of this paper is to propose an integrative model of “optimal sense-making”, a concept that combines both rationality and meaning, as well as the role of self-transcendence and healthy negative emotions. The model offers a theoretical and clinical foundation for efficient and effective psychological intervention plans for those affected by the pandemic. Along with theoretical background, illustrating case studies will be presented to support potential application of the integrative model to affected individuals as well as the work of first line health professionals during these times of pandemic. Implications are considered for utilizing theoretical and applied insights from the model to cultivate resilience in face of adversity and suffering.
... The translated Hebrew version of the inventory has demonstrated high internal consistency and excellent criterion validity for children and adolescents. 27 The Cronbach's alpha coefficient for the subscales in this study ranged from 0.75 to 0.88. ...
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Although research on the consequences of war exposure on children’s mental health has made significant progress in the past decades, a lack of valid measures for quantifying the incidence, severity and variability of exposure can hamper identification of at-risk children and mental health delivery in conflict-affected areas. The present study investigated the psychometric properties of a new political life events scale for youth (PLE-Y) that comprehensively assesses personal political violence exposure history. The PLE-Y was administered to 6,254 adolescents aged twelve to eighteen in two large samples in a region in Israel that has been characterized by high exposure to political violence. Adolescents were assessed for political life events exposure, psychiatric symptoms, emotional and behavioral problems, and subjective well-being. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses supported a 2-factor structure of the PLE-Y (severe and mild), representing the severity levels of exposure. Results confirmed positive relations between severity of PLE exposure and psychiatric symptoms, emotional and behavioral difficulties, and lower subjective well-being. This study demonstrated the importance of taking into account the personal political violence exposure history and the subjective interpretations of impact of the events to accurately identify the mental health risks to youth who are chronically exposed to protracted political violence.
... Qualitative research reveals that children can describe their experiences and sense of meaning (e.g., Kang, Kim, Song, & Kim, 2013;Salter & Stallard, 2004) and make meaning from negative experiences (Orvell, Kross, & Gelman, 2018). Recently, researchers developed and validated a measure to assess the presence and sources of meaning in the lives of children (MIL-CQ; Shoshani & Russo-Netzer, 2017). Using this scale, researchers have found children who report high levels of meaning also report high levels of life satisfaction and positive affectivity . ...
... This subscale includes five items (e.g., "I share readily with other children, for example toys, treats, pencils") and participants rated how much each items described them best, using a 3-point scale, ranging from 1 (not true) to 3 (certainly true). Previous studies have provided evidence on the reliability and validity of this subscale (e.g., Goodman et al., 1998;Mansbach-Kleinfeld et al., 2010;Shoshani and Russo-Netzer, 2017). In the current study, Cronbach Alphas were acceptable (from 0.69 to 0.74) at the three time points. ...
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Using data from 1,352 middle-school Israeli adolescents, the current study examines the interface of spirituality and character strengths and its longitudinal contribution to subjective well-being and prosociality. Participants were approached three times over a 14-months period and completed measures of character strengths, spirituality, subjective well-being (positive emotions, life satisfaction), and prosociality. Findings revealed a fourth-factor structure of character strengths that included the typical tripartite classification of intrapersonal, interpersonal, and intellectual strengths together with spirituality emerging as a statistically autonomous factor. Spirituality was stable over time and contributed to higher subjective well-being and prosociality both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Discussion focuses on spirituality as a fundamental character strength and an important aspect of positive development.
... In studies of youth purpose, the term youth is often applied to adolescents, or those in either middle or high school (e.g., Kiang, 2012;Bronk et al., 2010). The age range of individuals included in studies purporting to examine youth purpose 2 extends from as young as 9 (e.g., Shoshani & Russo-Netzer, 2017) to as old as 30 (e.g., Bronk, Riches, & Mangan, 2018), encompassing participants in childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. The importance of specificity here is underscored by the notion that having a purpose in life may require higher-order cognitive functioning (McKnight & Kashdan, 2009), and capacities for task-switching and planning future-oriented goals. ...
Article
Having a sense of purpose in life has been discussed as a psychological asset for promoting positive youth development. Yet confidence in the benefits of purpose has accumulated faster than rigorous confirmation of their existence among youth, using instruments and methods calibrated to the developmental stage of those under study. Here, the authors illuminate four problems this asymmetry creates for drawing inferences from extant research on youth purpose, namely its reliance on (1) unclear scientific criteria for distinguishing “youth” and measures that include developmentally presumptuous items, (2) single-informant and self-report methods, (3) misapplication of cross-sectional designs to test prospective or causal theories, and (4) analytic techniques insensitive to purpose content. In delineating these problems, the authors consider the extent to which the three empirical contributions included in this issue are responsive to each and may provide templates to guide future studies of youth purpose.
... Each item employs a 3-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (not true) to 3 (certainly true). The Hebrew version of the instrument has been reported to have excellent criterion validity for children (Shoshani & Russo-Netzer, 2017;, and high correlations between child self-report (11-17 years of age) and parent and teacher ratings (Mansbach-Kleinfeld et al., 2010). In the present study the SDQ yielded satisfactory Cronbach's alpha coefficients (0.76-0.87). ...
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The Character Strengths Inventory for Early Childhood (CSI-EC) is a parent report inventory that was developed to measure pre-school children’s character strengths consistent with the VIA Classification of Strengths and Virtues. The inventory consists of 96 items that measure 24 character strengths. The CSI-EC was administered to 2274 parents of children aged 3–6 in two large samples from Israel. Parents also completed questionnaires assessing their child’s emotional and behavioral problems and emotional well-being. Principal component analyses and confirmatory factor analyses of the CSI-EC supported 24 primary character strengths factors and four second-order factors. Children’s transcendence, intellectual and interpersonal strengths were positively associated with children’s emotional well-being, and children’s temperance and interpersonal strengths were negatively associated with socio-emotional difficulties. The findings are discussed in terms of future research and practical implication.
... The intervention constructed and implemented in the present study was based on this model, adjusted for applicability to young children. Due to the difficulty in conceptualizing and facilitating meaning among young children (Shoshani and Russo-Netzer, 2017), the element of meaning was not included in the present intervention program. ...
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Despite the flourishing in recent years in applications of positive psychology in the field of education, there is a paucity of research investigating positive psychology interventions for preschool children. The present study examined the effects of a positive psychology-based intervention conducted in Israel on children's subjective well-being, mental health and learning behaviors. Twelve preschool classrooms of 3-6.5 year-olds were randomly assigned to a positive psychology intervention condition or a wait-list control condition. In the intervention condition, during one school year, 160 children experienced eight modules of basic concepts in positive psychology that were adapted to the developmental characteristics of young children and were compared to 155 children in demographically similar control classrooms. Children were administered a pre-test and post-test of subjective well-being measures. In addition, children's mental health and emotional well-being were measured by parental questionnaires. Preschool teachers completed questionnaires concerning children's learning behaviors. The findings showed significant increases in subjective well-being and positive learning behaviors among the intervention participants, with no significant changes in the control group. The results highlight the potential of positive psychology interventions for increasing subjective well-being and a positive approach to learning at young ages.
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Meaning in Life Children Questionnaire (MIL-CQ) was developed with reference to Frankl’s meaning triangle that has dimensions of Attitude, Creativity, and Experience. The current study translated MIL-CQ into Chinese (MIL-CQ-C), and evaluated its psychometric properties in a sample of 264 upper primary and secondary school gifted students in Hong Kong. Dimensionality of MIL-CQ-C was investigated via exploratory factor analysis using the robust weighted least square estimator. Measurement invariance across gender was investigated. Convergent validity was evaluated by testing MIL-CQ-C as the mediator of social connectedness in predicting presence of meaning in life and search for meaning in life. After removal of three items, exploratory factor analysis supported the original 3-factor structure with substantial factor loadings (λ = 0.53–0.91) and good reliability (Ω = 0.85–0.92). The MIL-CQ-C showed scalar measurement invariance across gender. The MIL-CQ-C was positively correlated with social connectedness, presence of meaning in life, and search for meaning in life. The MIL-CQ-C mediated the relationship between social connectedness and presence of meaning in life and search for meaning in life. The findings lend support to a valid 3-factor structure for MIL-CQ-C when completed by gifted learners in Hong Kong. (192 words)
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Being creative is considered a desirable trait, yet most empirical studies emphasize how to increase creativity rather than explore its possible benefits. A natural connection is how creativity can enhance life’s meaning. Many of the core concepts in work on the meaning of life, such as the needs for coherence, significance, and purpose or the desire for symbolic immortality, can be reached through creative activity. The synthesis of these two constructs—creativity and the meaning of life—is discussed with a temporal model encompassing past, present, and future pathways to creativity. The past pathway can help one understand and reflect on life. The present pathway can remind one of life’s joy and the many possible connections with humanity. Finally, the future pathway strives to ensure some type of legacy that may resonate with younger generations.
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This study investigated the role of character strengths and virtues in moderating relations between conflict exposure and psychiatric symptoms among 1078 adolescents aged 13–15 living in southern Israel, who were exposed to lengthy periods of war, terrorism and political conflict. Adolescents were assessed for character strengths and virtues, political violence exposure using the Political Life Events (PLE) scale, and psychiatric symptoms using the Brief Symptom Inventory and the UCLA PTSD Index. Results confirmed that political violence exposure was positively correlated with psychiatric symptoms. Interpersonal, temperance and transcendence strengths were negatively associated with psychiatric symptoms. Moderating effects of the interpersonal strengths on the relation between political violence exposure and the psychiatric and PTSD indices were confirmed. The findings extend existing knowledge about the resilience function of character strengths in exposure to protracted conflict and have important practical implications for applying strength-building practices for adolescents who grow up in war-affected environments.
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Most current literature on meaning uses the term meaning to refer to a variety of different specific aspects, such as having a sense of goals, direction, significance, fulfillment, engagement in valued activities, ability to make sense of life, and so forth. One essential aspect of meaning that has yet to receive focused and in-depth attention is existential mattering (EM). EM can be defined as the degree to which individuals feel that their lives are of value and significance in the world. Although EM is an implicit part of the current theoretical and empirical literature on meaning, it is rarely given adequate and focused attention. In this chapter, we discuss EM at length. Citing the work of prior theorists, we highlight how EM may play a crucial role in individuals’ lives, and how individuals are strongly inclined to see their lives as having significance and value. We argue that future theoretical and empirical work that specifically focuses on EM, without conflating it with other aspects of meaning, may foster more nuanced theorizing and research regarding how different aspects of meaning, such as EM, may be related to important variables such as spirituality, resilience, well-being, and death anxiety. We briefly examine EM as it exists in the current empirical literature on meaning. Further, we discuss EM as it relates to Terror Management Theory (TMT). We argue that the construct of EM is intimately tied to TMT. TMT argues that individuals are motivated to feel that their lives are of enduring value, and to feel that they are valued members of a reality that transcends death. TMT conceptualizes self-esteem as the construct that best taps this motivation. Contrary to this, we argue that EM may capture this motivation more accurately than does self-esteem. Research that examines EM in the context of TMT is warranted, as EM may provide additional explanatory power beyond that provided by self-esteem. We conclude the chapter with directions for future research on EM.
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This cross-sectional study investigated relations between conflict exposure and psychiatric symptoms among 8,727 Jewish Israeli adolescents aged 12-17 years from 1998-2011. This 14-year span included periods of terrorism, missile attacks, wars, relocations, military operations, and relative quiet, reflecting a dynamically changing, primarily violent climate. Annual samples from the same cities, geographical regions, and schools throughout the country were assessed for personal political life events (PLE) exposure and for psychiatric symptoms using the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI; Derogatis & Spencer, ). Data were divided into 8 exposure periods: (a) pre-Intifada 1998-2000, (b) Intifada peak 2001-2003, (c) Intifada recession 2004, (d) evacuation 2005, (e) missiles and the 2006 Lebanon war, (f) peak missiles 2006-2007, (g) Operation Cast Lead 2008-2009, and (h) global terrorism 2010-2011. Results confirmed a relation between type of exposure period, PLE exposure, and psychiatric symptoms. In addition, PLE exposure was positively correlated with psychiatric symptoms (β = .49). A moderating effect of gender on the relationship between PLE exposure and the psychiatric index was found, with elevated symptoms among females (β = .30).
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A paradigm conceptualizing resilience as factors moderating between political violence exposure and psychological distress administered in a 7-year research project yielded a profile of factors promoting Israeli children's coping in conflict conditions. Three factors — social support mobilization, selfefficacy, and meaning attribution — were incorporated into a school-based primary intervention program. In a repeated measures design, the study assessed pre to post-test modifications in the three resilience factors and psychological distress in a primary and control intervention condition and the interaction of actual political violence exposure on distress reduction. Results validated modification only of the mobilization of support factor, but nonetheless confirmed the primary program's efficacy in moderating psychological distress particularly among children with low actual political violence exposure, who showed greater distress increases in the control condition. Findings reinforce the educational system's role in promoting resilience among children in conflict environments.
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The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule for Children (PANAS-C/P; child and parent versions) yield positive affect (PA) and negative affect (NA) scales that are clinically useful for identifying youth with anxiety and mood problems. Despite the advantages that item response theory (IRT) offers relative to classical test theory with respect to shortening test instruments, no studies to date have applied IRT methodology to the PANAS-C/P scales. In the present study, we thus applied IRT methodology using a school-based development sample (child sample: N = 799; parent sample: N = 553) and developed a shortened 5-item PA scale (joyful, cheerful, happy, lively, proud) and a 5-item NA scale (miserable, mad, afraid, scared, sad) for the sake of simultaneously increasing the assessment efficiency of the PANAS-C/P scales while improving the psychometric properties of the scales. The reduced PA and NA child scales classified relevant diagnostic groups in a separate clinic-referred validation sample (N = 662) just as well as the original PANAS-C child scales and may be used to help identify youth with internalizing disorders in need of mental health services.
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116 13- and 14- yr-olds were asked to write about, rank in order of importance, and give an example of the 3 strongest meanings in their lives. The percentage of Ss seeming to understand what meaning in life was and able coherently to discuss their own was just as high as that found in older groups. The types of meaning reported differed sufficiently from those of college students and other older Ss to require 3 new categories (activities, school, and appearance). When only the most important meaning was tabulated, the category of Relationships received the highest percentage (67%). (7 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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• This work, a second edition of which has very kindly been requested, was followed by La Construction du réel chez l'enfant and was to have been completed by a study of the genesis of imitation in the child. The latter piece of research, whose publication we have postponed because it is so closely connected with the analysis of play and representational symbolism, appeared in 1945, inserted in a third work, La formation du symbole chez l'enfant. Together these three works form one entity dedicated to the beginnings of intelligence, that is to say, to the various manifestations of sensorimotor intelligence and to the most elementary forms of expression. The theses developed in this volume, which concern in particular the formation of the sensorimotor schemata and the mechanism of mental assimilation, have given rise to much discussion which pleases us and prompts us to thank both our opponents and our sympathizers for their kind interest in our work. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This article examines the adequacy of the “rules of thumb” conventional cutoff criteria and several new alternatives for various fit indexes used to evaluate model fit in practice. Using a 2‐index presentation strategy, which includes using the maximum likelihood (ML)‐based standardized root mean squared residual (SRMR) and supplementing it with either Tucker‐Lewis Index (TLI), Bollen's (1989) Fit Index (BL89), Relative Noncentrality Index (RNI), Comparative Fit Index (CFI), Gamma Hat, McDonald's Centrality Index (Mc), or root mean squared error of approximation (RMSEA), various combinations of cutoff values from selected ranges of cutoff criteria for the ML‐based SRMR and a given supplemental fit index were used to calculate rejection rates for various types of true‐population and misspecified models; that is, models with misspecified factor covariance(s) and models with misspecified factor loading(s). The results suggest that, for the ML method, a cutoff value close to .95 for TLI, BL89, CFI, RNI, and Gamma Hat; a cutoff value close to .90 for Mc; a cutoff value close to .08 for SRMR; and a cutoff value close to .06 for RMSEA are needed before we can conclude that there is a relatively good fit between the hypothesized model and the observed data. Furthermore, the 2‐index presentation strategy is required to reject reasonable proportions of various types of true‐population and misspecified models. Finally, using the proposed cutoff criteria, the ML‐based TLI, Mc, and RMSEA tend to overreject true‐population models at small sample size and thus are less preferable when sample size is small.
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Veterans of various service eras (N = 174) completed an Internet survey about combat exposure, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, depression, guilt, and meaning in life. Results of a hierarchical regression indicated that younger age; higher levels of combat exposure, depression, and guilt; and lower meaning in life predicted greater PTSD severity. The interaction between meaning in life and depression also was significant, with a stronger inverse relation between meaning and PTSD at lower levels of depression. Meaning in life may be an important treatment concern for veterans with PTSD symptoms, particularly at higher levels of functioning.
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Meaning in life is an important construct in psychology, but one which has been the focus of limited research. Most research has concentrated on the relation between meaning and psychopathology, and has been conducted with the Purpose in Life Test. This paper examines the relation between meaning in life and psychological well-being using several meaning measures and both positive and negative well-being dimensions. A strong association is found between meaning in life and well-being, which is replicated in two different samples. Meaning in life is found to have a stronger association with positive than with negative well-being dimensions, suggesting the value of taking a salutogenic approach to mental health research. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.
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Previous work of the author presents a salutogenic theoretical model designed to explain maintenance or improvement of location on a health ease/dis-ease continuum. The model's core construct, the Sense of Coherence (SOC), was consciously formulated in terms which are thought to be applicable crossculturally. The SOC scale which operationalizes the construct is a 29-item semantic differential questionnaire, its design guided by Guttman's facet theory. A 13-item version of the scale has also been used. The purpose of the present paper is to present the extant evidence from studies conducted in 20 countries for the feasibility, reliability and validity of the scale, as well as normative data. In 26 studies using SOC-29 the Cronbach alpha measure of internal consistency has ranged from 0.82 to 0.95. The alphas of 16 studies using SOC-13 range from 0.74 to 0.91. The relatively few test-retest correlations show considerable stability, e.g. 0.54 over a 2-year period among retirees. The systematic procedure used in scale construction and examination of the final product by many colleagues points to a high level of content, face and consensual validity. The few data sets available point to a high level of construct validity. Criterion validity is examined by presenting correlational data between the SOC and measures in four domains: a global orientation to oneself and one's environment (19 r's); stressors (11 r's); health, illness and wellbeing (32 r's); attitudes and behavior (5 r's). The great majority of correlations are statistically significant. All available published normative data on SOC-29 and SOC-13 are presented, data which bear upon validity using the known groups technique.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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Cancer illness affects people in many ways, physical, financial, and existential. In this paper, we describe a proposed group intervention for individuals with advanced disease who want help finding a sense of meaning at this critical juncture in their lives. This intervention has a brief, semi-structured format, and is informed by the work of Viktor Frankl, empirical findings in the area of meaning and trauma, and the empirical findings of other group interventions for cancer patients. Individual sessions focus on different aspects of meaning, including responsibility to others, creativity, transcendence, and ascertaining one's values and priorities. Having goals on which to focus and feeling like part of a larger whole are critically important to the ability to find meaning and cope with terminal illness. Such goals may be generated by a number of sources, including connectedness with others, or a sense of the temporal continuity of one's own life despite the disruption posed by severe illness. Didactic discussions and experiential exercises help to facilitate exploration of these various elements in group members' lives. The finite structure of the intervention may also highlight these issues, as people who are faced with similar issues work together in a limited time frame in order to accomplish the goals they set out for themselves.
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Although the negative consequences of trauma have been well researched and described, posttraumatic growth has only recently come to the attention of researchers. This paper considers whether children (aged 7-18 years) who have been involved in a road traffic accident can experience posttraumatic growth outcomes. From 158 children who took part in an interview, qualitative analysis of interview notes found that 67 (42%) reported some aspect of posttraumatic growth, most notably in terms of their philosophy of life. Of these, 25 (37%) were also assessed as experiencing posttraumatic stress disorder.
Life purpose questionnaire overview sheet
  • R R Hutzell
Hutzell, R. R. (1989). Life purpose questionnaire overview sheet. Berkeley, CA: Institute of Logotherapy Press.