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Understanding the Search for Meaning in Life: Personality, Cognitive Style, and the Dynamic Between Seeking and Experiencing Meaning

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Abstract

Although several theories assert that understanding the search for meaning in life is important, empirical research on this construct is sparse. Three studies provide the first extensive effort to understand the correlates of the search for meaning in a multistudy research program. Assessed were relations between search for meaning and well-being, cognitive style, and the Big Five, Big Three, Approach/Avoidance, and Interest models of personality, with a particular emphasis on understanding the correlates of search for meaning that are independent of presence of meaning. Conceptual models of the relation between search and presence were tested. Findings suggest that people lacking meaning search for it; the search for meaning did not appear to lead to its presence. Study 3 found that basic motive dispositions moderated relations between search for meaning and its presence. Results highlight the importance of basic personality dispositions in understanding the search for meaning and its correlates.

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... We also expect that the severity of CSBD will be indirectly related to life satisfaction through two dimensions of meaning in life: the presence of meaning in life (already described in this article) and the second dimension, namely, the search for meaning in life. The latter construct refers to the extent to which people are engaged in and motivated to establish and/or increase their understanding of the meaning, significance, and purpose of their lives (Steger, Kashdan, Sullivan, & Lorentz, 2008). Unlike the presence of meaning in life, which is related to positive functioning (Csabonyi & Phillips, 2020;Steger, Frazier, Oishi, & Kaler, 2006;Steger et al., 2008), the search for meaning in life usually correlates with worse functioning (Park, Park, & Peterson, 2010;Steger et al., 2008;Steger, Mann, Michels, & Cooper, 2009). ...
... The latter construct refers to the extent to which people are engaged in and motivated to establish and/or increase their understanding of the meaning, significance, and purpose of their lives (Steger, Kashdan, Sullivan, & Lorentz, 2008). Unlike the presence of meaning in life, which is related to positive functioning (Csabonyi & Phillips, 2020;Steger, Frazier, Oishi, & Kaler, 2006;Steger et al., 2008), the search for meaning in life usually correlates with worse functioning (Park, Park, & Peterson, 2010;Steger et al., 2008;Steger, Mann, Michels, & Cooper, 2009). ...
... The latter construct refers to the extent to which people are engaged in and motivated to establish and/or increase their understanding of the meaning, significance, and purpose of their lives (Steger, Kashdan, Sullivan, & Lorentz, 2008). Unlike the presence of meaning in life, which is related to positive functioning (Csabonyi & Phillips, 2020;Steger, Frazier, Oishi, & Kaler, 2006;Steger et al., 2008), the search for meaning in life usually correlates with worse functioning (Park, Park, & Peterson, 2010;Steger et al., 2008;Steger, Mann, Michels, & Cooper, 2009). ...
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Background and aims Some people are preoccupied with their sexual urges and fantasies and lose control over their sexual behaviors, which can cause adverse consequences for their health and well-being. One of the options available for individuals seeking treatment for compulsive sexual behavior disorder (CSBD) is a self-help group based on the twelve-step program. The main purpose of the current study was to examine the direct and indirect (through meaning in life and hope) relationships between involvement in Sexaholics Anonymous (SA) and life satisfaction. Methods The sample consisted of 80 Polish members of SA (72 men and 8 women) with a mean age of 38.96 years (SD = 10.56). The Sex Addiction Screening Test-Revised, the Meaning of Life Questionnaire, the Herth Hope Index, the Satisfaction with Life Scale, and items adapted from the Alcoholics Anonymous Involvement Scale were used to measure the study variables. Results Path analysis showed a direct positive relationship between SA involvement and life satisfaction. Moreover, the relationship between these variables was mediated by the presence of meaning in life and hope. Simultaneously, more severe symptoms of CSBD were related to lower levels of the presence of meaning in life and higher levels of the search for meaning in life, which, in turn, predicted lower levels of life satisfaction. Discussion and conclusions The results suggest that finding meaning in life and restoring hope partly underlie the relationship between SA involvement and life satisfaction.
... This model divides MiL into 2 constructs, presence of and search for MiL [17], which are not mutually exclusive [18,19]. Many consider the presence of MiL as beneficial [20]; the search for MiL appears more controversial with some authors considering it the essence of human motivation [21] and others as a sign that one's life has lost meaning [22] or has less meaning [23,24]. Different MiL profiles recently have been characterized in patients with chronic pain, resulting from the combination between low and high levels of presence and search for MiL, which were associated with a unique adjustment outcome: patients having profiles with high scores of presence showed fewer depressive symptoms and greater life satisfaction [14,25]. ...
... In our group, neither presence of nor search for MiL were associated with sociodemographic or pain-related characteristics, except for professional activity, which was associated with the presence of MiL. This is also in line with previous research suggesting that patients who present MiL display a higher level of adaptation, including in the professional field [24]. Fewer working individuals seeking disability may mediate these results, as well as less MiL related to the professional sphere in these participants. ...
... Finally, our data confirmed that the presence of and the search for MiL are positively and significantly correlated, which suggests that the 2 constructs may depend on one another. This is not in line with previous research [23,24,47], but the role of intervening variables, acting as mediating factors, has not been explored in this study and clearly warrants further investigation. ...
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Background Chronic pain is associated with an elevated risk of suicidal ideation (SI). Objective We aimed to examine if the presence or the search for Meaning in Life (MiL) are associated with less SI and explore whether MiL profiles emerge in our cohort. These profiles can be described as high presence–high search, high presence–low search, low presence–low search, and low presence–high search. Methods In this observational study, we recruited 70 patients who were referred to the Multidisciplinary Pain Center of the Geneva University Hospitals and who answered positively to question 9 on the Beck Depression Inventory, 2nd Edition, investigating SI. Patients who agreed to participate in the study were further investigated; they participated in a structured diagnostic interview to screen for psychiatric diagnoses. During this interview, they completed the Meaning in Life Questionnaire and the semistructured Scale for Suicide Ideation (SSI) to assess the characteristics and severity of SI. Results There was a statistically significant correlation between the presence of MiL subscale and the SSI. These 2 scales had a negative and statistically highly significant correlation (R=–.667; P<.001). The results also showed a negative and statistically highly significant correlation between the score of the search for MiL and the SSI (R=–.456; P<.001). The results thus pointed to the presence of MiL as a potential protective factor against the severity of SI, while the search for MiL is also a possible resiliency factor, although to a lesser extent. The profile low presence–low search grouped the vast majority (47%) of the patients; in these patients, the mean SSI score was 14.36 (SD 5.86), much higher compared with that of the other subgroups. Conclusions This study’s results point to MiL as a concept of interest regarding devising psychotherapeutic interventions for chronic pain patients in order to reduce the suicidal risk and more accurately determine patients’ suffering.
... This model divides MiL into 2 constructs, presence of and search for MiL [17], which are not mutually exclusive [18,19]. Many consider the presence of MiL as beneficial [20]; the search for MiL appears more controversial with some authors considering it the essence of human motivation [21] and others as a sign that one's life has lost meaning [22] or has less meaning [23,24]. Different MiL profiles recently have been characterized in patients with chronic pain, resulting from the combination between low and high levels of presence and search for MiL, which were associated with a unique adjustment outcome: patients having profiles with high scores of presence showed fewer depressive symptoms and greater life satisfaction [14,25]. ...
... In our group, neither presence of nor search for MiL were associated with sociodemographic or pain-related characteristics, except for professional activity, which was associated with the presence of MiL. This is also in line with previous research suggesting that patients who present MiL display a higher level of adaptation, including in the professional field [24]. Fewer working individuals seeking disability may mediate these results, as well as less MiL related to the professional sphere in these participants. ...
... Finally, our data confirmed that the presence of and the search for MiL are positively and significantly correlated, which suggests that the 2 constructs may depend on one another. This is not in line with previous research [23,24,47], but the role of intervening variables, acting as mediating factors, has not been explored in this study and clearly warrants further investigation. ...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Chronic pain is associated with an elevated risk of suicidal ideation (SI). OBJECTIVE We aimed to examine if the presence or the search for Meaning in Life (MiL) are associated with less SI and explore whether MiL profiles emerge in our cohort. These profiles can be described as high presence–high search, high presence–low search, low presence–low search, and low presence–high search. METHODS In this observational study, we recruited 70 patients who were referred to the Multidisciplinary Pain Center of the Geneva University Hospitals and who answered positively to question 9 on the Beck Depression Inventory, 2nd Edition, investigating SI. Patients who agreed to participate in the study were further investigated; they participated in a structured diagnostic interview to screen for psychiatric diagnoses. During this interview, they completed the Meaning in Life Questionnaire and the semistructured Scale for Suicide Ideation (SSI) to assess the characteristics and severity of SI. RESULTS There was a statistically significant correlation between the presence of MiL subscale and the SSI. These 2 scales had a negative and statistically highly significant correlation ( R =–.667; P <.001). The results also showed a negative and statistically highly significant correlation between the score of the search for MiL and the SSI ( R =–.456; P <.001). The results thus pointed to the presence of MiL as a potential protective factor against the severity of SI, while the search for MiL is also a possible resiliency factor, although to a lesser extent. The profile low presence–low search grouped the vast majority (47%) of the patients; in these patients, the mean SSI score was 14.36 (SD 5.86), much higher compared with that of the other subgroups. CONCLUSIONS This study’s results point to MiL as a concept of interest regarding devising psychotherapeutic interventions for chronic pain patients in order to reduce the suicidal risk and more accurately determine patients’ suffering.
... In studies assuming interpersonal relatedness and self-definition to be opposites, being independent was positively related to PofM, while being interdependent was positively associated with SforM (Daep- Datu & Salanga, 2018;Steger et al., 2008). These findings are counterintuitive, since all sources of meaning claim to be about relatedness and connectedness (Delle Fave & Soosai-Nathan, 2014). ...
... These findings are counterintuitive, since all sources of meaning claim to be about relatedness and connectedness (Delle Fave & Soosai-Nathan, 2014). Moreover, Steger et al. (2008) reported that some Japanese (collectivist-interdependent culture) and American (individualist-independent culture) students have similar PofM. Thus, in contrast to earlier studies, the present study takes the complementary nature of integration and differentiation into account, since the existence or non-existence of each orientation mutually influence one another (İmamoğlu, 2003). ...
... Steger (2009Steger ( , 2012 did not include SforM in his theory, and there is limited knowledge about its link with integration and differentiation. Although the inverse relation between PofM and SforM indicates that decreases in PofM should lead to increases in SforM (Dezutter et al., 2013), SforM does not always imply an absence of meaning (Steger et al., 2006) and does not always result in PofM (Steger et al., 2008). SforM is also related to artistic and investigative interests and tendermindedness (Steger et al., 2008). ...
Article
The current study aimed to investigate the relationships between meaning in life (presence of meaning, search for meaning), self-construal (integration, differentiation), gratitude and self-concept clarity among university students based on the proposals of Steger’s theory of meaning in life (2009, 2012). The sample consists of 825 students attending a major public university in Turkey. A demographic information form, the Balanced Integration Differentiation Scale (BIDS), the Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MIL), the Gratitude Questionnaire (GQ) and the Self-Concept Clarity Scale (SCCS) were utilized to collect data. In a cross-sectional correlational design, a path model was proposed to examine whether gratitude predicts meaning in life directly or indirectly via integration as well as the role of self-concept clarity as a mediator of the relationship between self-construal and meaning in life. Four path analyses were conducted to test the proposed model for the four self-construal types from the BID model by İmamoğlu (1998, 2003). Various significant direct and indirect effects providing support for Steger’s theory of meaning (2009, 2012), were obtained. Implications and future directions are discussed.
... Further, meaning in life, in general terms, is robustly associated with health and wellbeing (Czekierda et al., 2017;Steger, 2009) including during the pandemic (Nelson-Coffey et al., 2021), and has been noted as being a protective factor in measures of resilience, burnout, and wellbeing in our prior work from this project (Sumner and Kinsella, 2021a) and elsewhere in other populations (Zika and Chamberlain, 1992), also when related to meaning derived from work (Grouden and Jose, 2015). Importantly, the present work has uncovered that the loss of meaning has not been responded to with an increased search for meaning in these participants, which is counter to prior understandings of the balance between these two facets (Steger et al., 2008). This finding is difficult to explain, and will likely require further assessments over time to see if and how a corresponding level of search for meaning in life may be initiated. ...
... This finding is difficult to explain, and will likely require further assessments over time to see if and how a corresponding level of search for meaning in life may be initiated. It is possible that as the scale itself captures more active and engaged strategies for searching for meaning (Steger et al., 2006(Steger et al., , 2008, that these workers may feel a need to search for meaning, but may not actively have engaged in those search strategies yet. The dynamic between presence and search is complicated, and has been discussed as being potentially beneficial to wellbeing either in terms of having more presence (and therefore feeling fulfilled), or having more search (and therefore being actively engaged in achieving fulfilment) (Steger et al., 2008). ...
... It is possible that as the scale itself captures more active and engaged strategies for searching for meaning (Steger et al., 2006(Steger et al., , 2008, that these workers may feel a need to search for meaning, but may not actively have engaged in those search strategies yet. The dynamic between presence and search is complicated, and has been discussed as being potentially beneficial to wellbeing either in terms of having more presence (and therefore feeling fulfilled), or having more search (and therefore being actively engaged in achieving fulfilment) (Steger et al., 2008). Here, we can see a loss of presence of meaning with no increase in search for meaning, which could be interpreted that these workers are experiencing complex and potentially harmful trajectories in their psychological welfare. ...
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Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, frontline workers have carried out essential roles to keep society going, while others have been called to minimise the infection rate to limit the burden on frontline workers. In this sense, navigating Covid-19 has necessitated interdependence between frontline workers and key stakeholder groups (such as their colleagues, organisations, their government, and the public). Reports suggest that frontline workers have perceived varying degrees of solidarity with others throughout the pandemic, yet the influence of perceived solidarity (or solidarity appraisal) on psychological welfare has received limited empirical or theoretical attention. The aim of the present study was to assess the relationship between solidarity appraisal and psychological welfare in frontline workers — across all sectors — during Covid-19, and explore the role of a potential mechanism (i.e., meaning in life) for explaining this relationship. To assess this proposed model, we used cross-sectional and longitudinal data from a project tracking a cohort of frontline workers in the UK and Ireland since March 2020. Participants were surveyed at baseline (T1), at six months (T2), and 12 months (T3). At T3, participants (N = 414) reported their perceived solidarity (with colleagues, organisations, government, and public) along with a range of psychological welfare measures. Overall, frontline workers’ levels of meaning in life dropped significantly over time. The results show that lower levels of perceived solidarity were predictive of poorer wellbeing, and higher anxiety, burnout, post-traumatic stress symptoms, and somatic stress symptoms, and these relationships were mediated by the presence of meaning in life. These findings suggest that perceived solidarity with interdependent social groups may imbue life with meaning, which can in turn have a positive influence on psychological welfare in chronic and cumulatively stressful occupational settings.
... People differ in the degree to which they are committed to have and actively search for meaning [54,55]. Therefore, meaning in life is understood both as the presence of and searching for meaning [56]. ...
... Therefore, meaning in life is understood both as the presence of and searching for meaning [56]. Individuals have meaning in life when they feel that their life is relevant [49] and comprehend themselves and the world around them [54]. Instead, searching for meaning consists of the drive to discover meaning in one's life [57]. ...
... This distinction is important, because depending on whether we are dealing with the presence or the search for meaning, the relationship between both dimensions and the personality may be different. For example, outcomes obtained by Steger et al. [54] show that people declaring the presence of meaning in life tend to experience lower psychological distress and negative emotions (neuroticism), higher trust and altruism (agreeableness), greater joy in social interactions (extraversion), and competence and proactivity (conscientiousness). Conversely, people who are searching for meaning express higher levels of anxiety (neuroticism) and curiosity and imagination (openness to experience). ...
Article
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Scientific achievements concerning the direct relation between personality traits and positive orientation among patients with multiple sclerosis do not explain the role of potential mediators. In fact, some researchers argue that the traits–positivity association is much more complex than it seems to be. For this reason, we made an attempt to analyze the indirect relationship between the above-mentioned variables, including meaning in life as a mediator. In total, 618 patients with MS took part in the study. The NEO Five-Factor Inventory, the Positive Orientation Scale, and the Meaning in Life Questionnaire were used. The results showed that positive orientation/the presence of meaning/searching for meaning correlated positively with extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, and were negatively associated with neuroticism. Moreover, meaning in life in both its dimensions acted as a mediator in 9 of 10 models. It can be assumed that a propensity to establish interpersonal relationships (extraversion), use active imagination (openness), inspire confidence among others (agreeableness), and take responsibility (conscientiousness) can have an impact on someone’s positive attitude toward oneself and the surrounding world (positive orientation) when people have meaning in life and when they are seeking it.
... If selftranscendent focus on guiding values is a form of meaning-seeking (Heine, Proulx, & Vohs, 2006;McGregor & Little, 1998) then it should most powerfully activate BAS (and cause subsequent BIS-relief and magnanimity) among people with trait tendencies toward meaning search. Trait meaning search "behaves like a schema increasing the salience of meaning relevant information" and items on the scale we used refer to committed pursuit of transcendence-related phenomena such as high purpose and mission in life (Steger, Frazier, Oishi, & Kaler, 2006;Steger, Kashdan, Sullivan, & Lorentz, 2008;Steger, Oishi, & Kesebir, 2011, p. 173). People with high Meaning Search scale scores look for ways to engage in goals related to their values, and report higher well-being when their goals align with them (Steger & Dik, 2009). ...
... People with high Meaning Search scale scores look for ways to engage in goals related to their values, and report higher well-being when their goals align with them (Steger & Dik, 2009). Further evidence that meaning searchers are inclined to approach values and transcendent ideals comes from evidence that the Meaning Search scale correlates positively with scales that assess BAS, hope, and idealistic approach motivation 3 Steger et al., 2006;Steger et al., 2008). We accordingly predicted that focus on selftranscendent values would produce strongest effects on BAS and freedom from belligerence among meaning seekers. ...
... Trait meaning search in our studies correlated positively with trait negative affect, stress, depression, rumination, neuroticism, uncertainty aversion, felt uncertainty, fear motivation, preventionfocus; and negatively with mindful acceptance, attachment security, self-esteem, meaning presence, vitality, (worldly) power, self-control, and conscientiousness. In contrast, however, meaning search also correlated positively with several approach-motivation-related tendencies, including trait BAS, hope, self-efficacy, independent selfconstrual, hypomania, openness to experience, anger, aggression, promotion-focus, faith in intuition, power motivation, authenticity, wisdom, eudaimonic motivation, and hedonic motivation (for similar findings see McGregor et al., 2012;Steger et al., 2006;Steger et al., 2008). In sum, meaning search seems to reflect a tendency toward BISlinked vulnerability, but also toward BAS-linked hope (see OSD for Meaning Search scale correlations with all other scales included either in mass-testing or as filler traits in the studies presented here). ...
Article
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Fidelity with self-transcendent values is hailed as a hallmark of mature and magnanimous character by classic psychological and philosophical theories. Dozens of contemporary experiments inspired by self-affirmation theory have also found that when people are under threat, focus on self-transcendent values can confer magnanimity by improving psychological buoyancy (less anxious and more courageous, determined, and effective) and decreasing belligerence (less defensive, extreme, and hostile). The present research was guided by the postulate that both aspects of magnanimity—its buoyancy and its freedom from belligerence—arise from the approach motivated states that self-transcendent foci can inspire. Experimental manipulations of self-transcendent foci (values, spirituality, compassion) heightened state approach motivation as assessed by electroencephalography (Study 1, n = 187) and self-report (Study 2, n = 490). Further, even though the heightened approach motivation was transient, it mediated a longer-lasting freedom from moral (Study 1) and religious (Study 2) belligerence. Importantly, self-transcendent-focus effects on approach motivation and belligerence occurred only among participants with high trait meaning search scores. Results support an interpretation of meaningful values and spiritual ideals as self-transcendent priorities that operate according to basic motivational mechanics of abstract-goal pursuit. The transient, approach-motivated state aroused by transcendence-focus causes longer lasting relief from preoccupation with threat, leaving people feeling buoyant and generous. Relevance of results for self-affirmation theory and the psychology of spirituality are discussed.
... Based on this conceptual foundation, mounting empirical research in recent decades supports the theoretical and philosophical foundations indicating the centrality of MIL to human experience and underscores its importance as a contributing factor for human flourishing and as a coping mechanism for adjustment to life's adversities and suffering (e.g., Czekierda et al., 2017;Damon, 2008;Janoff-Bulman & Yopyk, 2004;Linley & Joseph, 2011;Melton & Schulenberg, 2008;Ryff & Singer, 1998;Steger, 2012;Steger, Oishi, & Kashdan, 2009). For example, people high in MIL report more positive future orientations (Steger, Kashdan, Sullivan, et al., 2008), hope, and optimism (e.g., Mascaro & Rosen, 2006;Steger & Frazier, 2005;Steger et al., 2006) and enjoy their work more (e.g., Bonebright, Clay, & Ankemann, 2000). They also appear to cope better with life's challenges, demonstrating less avoidance coping and more emotion-focused coping (Edwards & Holden, 2001) as well as less depression (e.g., Mascaro, Rosen, & Morey, 2004) and vulnerability to psychopathology (Debats, 1999). ...
... However, other scholars also view the search for meaning as a warning sign that meaning has been lost (e.g., Baumeister, 1991). Empirical research has found that searching for meaning is associated with less life satisfaction (e.g., Park et al., 2010) and greater anxiety, depression, and rumination (e.g., Steger, Kashdan, Sullivan & Lorentz, 2008). Yet studies have also shown that searching for meaning is also associated with positive outcomes such as open mindedness, drive, and absorption (Steger et al., 2006Steger, Kashdan, Sullivan & Lorentz, 2008. ...
... Empirical research has found that searching for meaning is associated with less life satisfaction (e.g., Park et al., 2010) and greater anxiety, depression, and rumination (e.g., Steger, Kashdan, Sullivan & Lorentz, 2008). Yet studies have also shown that searching for meaning is also associated with positive outcomes such as open mindedness, drive, and absorption (Steger et al., 2006Steger, Kashdan, Sullivan & Lorentz, 2008. It has been suggested that search for meaning may operate as a schema, helping the individual to identify and arrange information relevant to making accurate meaning-in-life judgments (Steger, Oishi, & Kesebir, 2011). ...
Chapter
This chapter summarizes the unique perspectives and contributions in this volume, to offer insights regarding search for meaning in life in a post-modern socio-cultural context. We suggest that instead of major overarching cultural schemes, institutions or narratives for meaning in life which were prominent and dominant in the past, such as religion, contemporary societies in the post-modern era offer a large variety of narratives, termed here 'master narratives of meaning'. Individuals adopt and adapt such narratives to fulfil their need for meaning in life and to have clarity and stability, and specifically to satisfy their need for comprehension, purpose and mattering. Exploring illustrative case studies within the Israeli scene, we identified several broad dimensions of the search for meaning that might be relevant in other cultures as well, such as, the mix and match quality of the narratives, the centrality of spirituality both within and outside established religions, the centrality of legitimation of a variety of narratives versus their de-legitimation and adoption of a rigid dogma, and a self-focused process versus the focus on belonging to a community or becoming a 'citizen of the world' with responsibility to make it a better place. These master narratives of meaning weave cultural characteristics and contextual imperatives with personal processes of meaning-making and appear to also highlight broader processes of search for meaning around the globe.
... In fact, Jacobson and Newman underlined that "little has been uncovered about the mechanism underlying this connection" [16] (p. 66). Moreover, other researchers [17,18] have emphasized the need to understand not only the direct relationship between anxiety and depression but also its indirect pathways. ...
... Although meaning in life can be of great significance at any stage of development, Dezutter et al. [65] suggest that it is especially important in early adulthood when young people face new challenges and are anxious to meet life requirements. There are different perspectives on meaning in life [66,67]. The one adopted for the current study alludes to Steger's approach, which draws a distinction between having (presence) and seeking (searching) meaning in life [66]. ...
... There are different perspectives on meaning in life [66,67]. The one adopted for the current study alludes to Steger's approach, which draws a distinction between having (presence) and seeking (searching) meaning in life [66]. The dimension of presence refers to people's comprehension of themselves and the world around them. ...
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Early adulthood, between 18 and 25, is viewed as a decisive period of life for the prevention and treatment of anxiety and depression. Although the topic of their mutual relationship is well-known, little has been uncovered about the mechanism underlying this connection. To un-derstand the indirect pathways between anxiety and depression, we chose the sense of meaning of life as a mediator because people’s beliefs that their lives are or can be purposeful may protect against depression. The sample was composed of 277 Polish young adults. A small majority of the participants were women (58.8%). The mean age was M = 22.11 (SD = 1.72). We used in the research the Direct Behavior Rating-Scale Items Scale, the Meaning in Life Questionnaire, and the Brief Screen for Depression. Correlational analysis showed that, consistent with past findings, anxiety correlated positively with depression and searching for meaning. It was also negatively associated with presence of meaning. Moreover, depression was negatively linked to presence of meaning and positively with searching for meaning. Regression-based mediation analyses (PROCESS macro 3.4) proved that the relationship between anxiety and depression was mediated by presence of meaning in life, suggesting that having a sense of meaning may be a pathway by which feelings of tension relative to adverse events protect against depression.
... Meaning in life has been associated with many positive life outcomes such as positive emotions Park et al., 2010;Steger et al., 2008b), self-esteem, self-acceptance (Steger et al., 2008b), hope (Feldman & Snyder, 2005), mental and physical health Steger, 2017). Research has also supported the role of meaning in life in life satisfaction Pan et al., 2008;Park et al., 2010;Karatas et al. 2021, Steger et al. 2008a, wellbeing (Alandete et al., 2013;Damasio et al., 2013;Yıldırım, Arslan, & Wong, 2021) and happiness (Nasiri & Bahram, 2008;Park et al., 2010;Shin et al., 2005). ...
... Meaning in life has been associated with many positive life outcomes such as positive emotions Park et al., 2010;Steger et al., 2008b), self-esteem, self-acceptance (Steger et al., 2008b), hope (Feldman & Snyder, 2005), mental and physical health Steger, 2017). Research has also supported the role of meaning in life in life satisfaction Pan et al., 2008;Park et al., 2010;Karatas et al. 2021, Steger et al. 2008a, wellbeing (Alandete et al., 2013;Damasio et al., 2013;Yıldırım, Arslan, & Wong, 2021) and happiness (Nasiri & Bahram, 2008;Park et al., 2010;Shin et al., 2005). ...
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While it was established that COVID-19 pandemic had negative consequences on several aspects of mental health, little is known about the role of positive mental health indicators in pregnant women during this period. The purpose of the present study was to examine relationships between meaning in life, life satisfaction and happiness and the extent to which meaning in life predicts life satisfaction and happiness. The sample consisted of 161 pregnant women from Slovakia. Data were collecting using Life Meaningfulness Scale, Satisfaction with Life Scale and Subjective Happiness Scale. As predicted, results showed that meaning in life is a predictor of life satisfaction and happiness. Higher happiness was related to increasing degree of meaning in life and absence of pregnancy-related health problems. 65% of participants reported high level of satisfaction with life and 48% of participants reported higher happiness than average person. These findings provide evidence for associations between meaning in life, life satisfaction and happiness in Slovak pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic and indicate that despite negative consequences of the pandemic, positive indicators of mental health in pregnancy play a significant role.
... According to Steger et al. (2008), the meaning of life is the efforts of people to shape or strengthen the goals of their lives. When trying to find out what life means, it should make it a natural part of life. ...
... Research also supports the search for meaning theory. Steger et al. (2008) found a significant relationship between the meaning of life and the determination for achievement. In addition, Riichiro and Masahiko (2006) found a negative relationship between the meaning of life and depression and anxiety symptoms. ...
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Examining the mediating role of meaning in the effect of will on authenticity in adults is the purpose of this study. The sample is a total number of 289 adults. The correlation between will, authenticity and meaning was examined in SPSS 22. A positive relationship was found between will and personal meaning, between will and pure authenticity, between personal meaning and pure authenticity. The model was tested using AMOS to examine role of meaning in the effect of will on authenticity. It has been seen that the meaning in the effect of the will on authenticity has a mediating role.
... Meaning in life can be divided into two parts: the search for meaning, referring to a motivational aspect of seeking meaning; and presence of meaning, referring to a belief that one has experienced meaning in one's present life (Steger et al., 2006). Steger et al. (2008a) empirically tested the relationship between these two variables using the presence-to-search model, which states that the lack of presence of meaning leads to search for meaning; and the search-to-presence model, in which searching for meaning leads to finding meaning. They confirmed a negative relationship between the search for meaning and the presence of meaning, concluding that people search for meaning when they do not experience meaning in their current lives, which was corroborated by follow-up studies (Steger et al., 2009(Steger et al., , 2014. ...
... Our study findings have several theoretical implications. First, our research findings supported the search-to-presence model, which assumes that searching for meaning leads to presence of meaning (Steger et al., 2008a). To date, studies on the relationship between search for meaning and presence of meaning have reported mixed results. ...
Article
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Many studies demonstrate that finding meaning in life reduces stress and promotes physical and psychological well-being. However, extant literature focuses on meaning in life among the general population (e.g., college students or office workers) in their daily lives. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the mechanisms of how individuals living in life-threatening and stressful situations obtain meaning in life, by investigating the mediating roles of leisure crafting and gratitude. A total of 465 Army soldiers from the Republic of Korea (ROK) participated in two-wave surveys with a 2-week interval. Structural equation modeling analyses indicated that the direct effects between the search for meaning, presence of meaning, leisure crafting, and gratitude were significant, except for the direct relationship between the search for meaning and the presence of meaning, and between leisure crafting and the presence of meaning. We tested indirect effects using a Monte Carlo approach and found that leisure crafting and gratitude sequentially mediated the relationship between the search for meaning and the presence of meaning. Our findings highlight the importance of the motivation behind searching for meaning, the proactive use of leisure time, and gratitude for individuals in stressful situations and controlled lifestyles. Finally, we discuss the implications and limitations of this research and future research directions.
... Empirical research has started to examine cultural differences related to meaning in life. For example, while the search for meaning was found to be negatively related to the presence of meaning among U.S. participants, it was positively related to the presence of meaning among Japanese individuals (Steger et al., 2008) and Israelis (e.g., Abu-Raiya et al., 2021;Russo-Netzer, 2019). This suggests that the presence and search for meaning may evoke different understandings in different cultures (Steger et al., 2008). ...
... For example, while the search for meaning was found to be negatively related to the presence of meaning among U.S. participants, it was positively related to the presence of meaning among Japanese individuals (Steger et al., 2008) and Israelis (e.g., Abu-Raiya et al., 2021;Russo-Netzer, 2019). This suggests that the presence and search for meaning may evoke different understandings in different cultures (Steger et al., 2008). More research is needed to understand these cultural variations and the psychometric properties of the instruments measuring these constructs. ...
... As such, we distinguish between existential meaningfulness and meaninglessness. Indeed, research has shown that people lacking meaning search for it (Steger et al., 2008;Van Tongeren & Green, 2010), but those with meaning are less likely to search (Steger et al., 2006). ...
... To provide testable hypotheses for our research, we articulated the nomological network of existential meaninglessness. Based on previous findings (Schnell, 2009;Steger et al., 2008;Van Tongeren & Green, 2010), we expected both meaninglessness concern and meaninglessness anxiety to be negatively associated with measures of MIL and positively correlated with general existential meaninglessness. Grounded in the existential psychological literature, we anticipated positive correlations among meaninglessness concern, meaninglessness anxiety, and feelings of general anxiety (Bruggen et al., 2015). ...
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Grounded in a tripartite existential meaninglessness model, the authors developed the 18-item Existential Meaninglessness Scale (EMS) to assess one’s concern and anxiety of existential meaninglessness. Across three samples, the EMS’s factor structure and evidence of convergent, criterion-related, and incremental validity, internal consistency, and test–retest reliability were examined. Exploratory factor analyses demonstrated three dimensions of the EMS: incomprehension, purposelessness, and insignificance. Confirmatory factor analyses revealed that a bifactor model was a better fit to the data than other models. The bifactor model provided evidence for a general factor and measurement invariance. Ancillary bifactor indices indicated EMS’s unidimensionality. Findings of bivariate correlations and hierarchical regression analyses provided evidence for different aspects of construct validity and internal consistency. Both the Concern and Anxiety measures of the EMS positively predicted depressive symptoms and suicide ideation above and beyond the effects of general existential meaninglessness, general feelings of anxiety, and presence of meaning in life. Based on the findings, the authors discuss future research directions on existential meaninglessness using the EMS.
... There is no one single way to actively pursue happiness. Rather, it seems to matter how people define HWB for themselves and which specific facet of HWB they strive for (McMahan & Estes, 2011a;Steger et al., 2008). For example, in one study, defining happiness in eudaimonic terms was higher and more robustly associated with wellbeing than defining happiness in hedonic terms (McMahan & Estes, 2011a). ...
... Another limitation is the cross-sectional nature of the studies, which prohibits any causal conclusions between the variables of interest. Positive associations between lay definitions of HWB and actual levels of well-being have previously been reported (McMahan & Estes, 2011a, 2011bSteger et al., 2008). Positive associations between constructs similar to the complexity of HWB definitions and actual levels of well-being have also previously been reported (Grimm et al., 2015;Henderson & Knight, 2012;Huta & Ryan, 2010). ...
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People differ in how they define and pursue happiness and well-being (HWB). Previous studies suggested that the best way to achieve a high level of well-being might be to pursue different facets of HWB simultaneously. We expand on this idea and introduce the concept of complexity of HWB definitions to describe how many HWB definitions people endorse simultaneously, and the complexity of HWB-related intentions to describe how many unique facets of HWB people intend to pursue in everyday life. To operationalize these novel concepts, we developed two parallel measures that integrate psychological and philosophical definitions of HWB. In two independent studies (total N = 542), exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses revealed eight reliable and valid factors for both parallel scales: absence of negativity, positive attitude, tranquility, personal development, luck, joy and desires, purpose, and belonging. Complexity of HWB-related intentions was positively associated with all facets of well-being, whereas complexity of HWB definitions was only positively associated with some facets of well-being. HWB-related intentions and their complexity emerged as more important for the experience of well-being than HWB definitions and their complexity. These studies highlight the importance of a multifaceted conceptualization of HWB when investigating how the pursuit of HWB is related to actual levels of well-being.
... 6 Bununla birlikte yaşam doyumunun, sağlıklı yaşlanmanın 4 ve yaşam kalitesinin belirleyicisidir. 7 Tanımlardan anlaşılacağı üzere YAB; bireyin fiziksel sağlığını etkileyebilen, 4,5 mutluluk duygusunu besleyen, yaşam doyumunu artıran, psikososyal sağlığını güçlendiren, iyi oluş düzeyini yükselten, stresle baş etmesine yardım eden bir eylemdir. 3,[8][9][10] Ayrıca bireyi olumsuz yaşam deneyimlerine 11 ve psikopatolojik durumlara karşı da korur. ...
... Bu gruplarda incelenen çalışmaların tanımlayıcı ve derleme deseninde tasarlandığı belirlenmiştir. Hemşirelik temelli çalışmaların ise sınırlı olduğu tespit edilmiştir.YAB, sağlıklı bir şekilde baş etmeyi geliştirmek için kullanılabilecek psikolojik bir kaynaktır, ruh sağlığı ve genel iyilik haliyle yakın bir ilişkiye sahiptir.7 Derleme kapsamında incelenen çalışmalar doğrultusunda YAB düzeyindeki artış ile ruhsal sağlık göstergesi olan psikolojik iyi oluş ve yaşam doyumu arasında pozitif yönde bir ilişki, stres, anksiyete depresyon, umutsuzluk, sahiptir. ...
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Yaşamda anlam bulma ruhsal iyi oluşun, psikolojik gücün, sağlıklı gelişimin yanı sıra sağlıklı yaşlanmanın ve yaşam kalitesinin belirleyicisidir. Bu doğrultuda çalışmanın amacı yaşamda anlam bulma kavramını ve ilişkili faktörleri literatür bilgisi doğrultusunda irdelemektir. Derleme desende tasarlanmış bu araştırmada "hemşirelik, ruh sağlığı, yaşamda anlam bulma-nursing, mental health, meaning in life" anahtar kelimeleri ile "EbscoHost, Proquest, Science Direct, Wiley, Ulakbim" veri tabanları taranmıştır. Yaşamda anlam bulma ilişkili faktörler fiziksel ve ruhsal sağlık göstergeleri olarak iki grupta derlenmiştir. Yaşamda anlam bulma düzeyindeki artış ile ruhsal sağlık göstergesi olan psikolojik iyi oluş ve yaşam doyumu arasında pozitif yönde bir ilişki, stres anksiyete depresyon, umutsuzluk, intihar düşüncesi, madde bağımlılığı ve ölüm korkusu arasında ise negatif yönde bir ilişki olduğu görülmüştür. Ayrıca yaşamda anlam ile fiziksel sağlık göstergesi olan yorgunluk, ağrı, kabızlık, solunum güçlüğü gibi belirtiler ve kardiyovasküler hastalıklar arasında negatif yönlü bir ilişki olduğu tespit edilmiştir. Bununla birlikte konu ile ilgili literatürün tanımlayıcı ve derleme çalışmaları kapsadığı belirlenmiştir. Bu derleme makale yaşamda anlam bulmanın bireylerin yaşamını fiziksel ve ruhsal açıdan etkilediğini ancak literatürün araştırma sayısı ve deseni konusunda sınırlı olduğunu ortaya koymuştur. Bu derleme konu ile ilişkili hemşirelik literatürü kısıtlılığının da altını çizmektedir. Bu noktada kilit konumda bulunan hemşirelerin bireyleri güçlendirmesinin bir gereklilik olduğu söylenebilir. Ayrıca araştırma sayısının ve farklı araştırma desenlerinin kullanıldığı çalışmaların planlanmasının önerilebilir. Anahtar kelimler: Hemşirelik, ruh sağlığı, yaşamda anlam bulma Abstract Meaning in life is a determinant of mental well-being, psychological resilience, and healthy development, as well as healthy aging and quality of life. Thus, this study was conducted to investigate the concept of meaning in life and related factors in line with the literature. The review methodology was used in the study. A search was performed on databases between June 2020-June 2021. Meaning in life-related factors were reviewed in two groups as mental and physical health indicators. A positive relationship was found between the increase in meaning in life level and psychological well-being and life satisfaction, and a negative relationship with stress, anxiety, depression, hopelessness, suicidal ideation, substance abuse, and fear of death. Besides, there was a negative relationship between meaning in life and symptoms, such as fatigue, pain, constipation, respiratory distress, which are indicators of physical health, and cardiovascular diseases. It was determined that the literature on the subject included descriptive and review studies. This study indicated that meaning in life affected the lives of individuals physically and mentally, but the literature is limited in terms of the number and design of studies. This review also underlines the limitations of the nursing literature related to the subject. At this point, it can be said that it is a necessity for nurses, who are in a key position, to empower individuals. For this reason, it can be said that health professionals must empower these individuals.
... A presença configura-se como algo proposital, significativo e valioso na vida do indivíduo (i.e., objetivo maior na vida), enquanto a busca é o estabelecimento e tentativa do indivíduo de ampliar sua compreensão em relação ao propósito da vida (Steger et al., 2006). Outros achados sugerem que as pessoas são motivadas a ter e a buscar SV, entretanto a busca pelo SV não parece levar obrigatoriamente à presença de SV (Steger et al., 2008). ...
Article
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As temáticas relativas ao sentido de vida e ao bem-estar subjetivo vem sendo objeto de interesse científico nas últimas décadas, especialmente no contexto internacional. Ainda assim, há poucos estudos dedicados à busca da compreensão da relação entre Bem-Estar Subjetivo e sentido de vida e em estudantes universitários, sobretudo no Brasil. O BES é definido como avaliação, cognitiva e afetiva que o indivíduo faz acerca de sua própria vida, enquanto o sentido de vida retrata o modo que as pessoas compreendem e percebem significado em suas vidas. A partir da relevância da presente abordagem científica busca-se com esse estudo investigar a relação entre as variáveis das dimensões do sentido de vida (presença e busca) e as dimensões do bem-estar subjetivo (afetos positivos, afetos negativos e satisfação de vida). Participaram deste estudo 259 alunos universitários ingressantes e concluintes dos cursos de Administração, Farmácia, Engenharia e Psicologia de uma instituição privada de ensino superior do interior do estado de São Paulo, com idade média de 22 anos, sendo 65.6% de mulheres e a maioria solteiros (as) (91.9%). Cabe destacar que os dados sociodemográficos dos participantes foram coletados por meio de um questionário. Os instrumentos foram aplicados coletivamente em formato lápis e papel, considerando a seguinte ordem: Termo de Consentimento Livre e Esclarecido, Questionário sociodemográfico; Questionário de Sentido de Vida – QSV-BR, Escala de Satisfação de Vida – ESV e Escala de Afetos Positivos e Afetos Negativos – PANAS. Os resultados da correlação de Pearson entre os instrumentos Questionário de Sentido de Vida – QSV-BR, Escala de Satisfação de Vida – ESV e Escala de Afetos Positivos e Afetos Negativos – PANAS revelaram que das 10 correlações possíveis, oito foram estatisticamente significativas sendo cinco correlações de magnitudes moderadas. Conclui-se que os resultados deste estudo podem trazer contribuições relevantes à literatura existente, ao investigar as relações entre BES e SV em estudantes universitários, além de destacar a importância das políticas de acesso e permanência ao ensino superior.
... poczucie sensu życia. Poczucie sensu życia uważane jest za jeden z fundamentalnych czynników adaptacyjnych (Steger, Kashdan, Sullivan, Lorentz, 2008). W definicjach poczucia sensu życia zwraca się współcześnie uwagę na trzy składowe: (1) zrozumiałość swojego życia i świata, (2) posiadanie celu życiowego subiektywnie uważanego za wartościowy i (3) poczucie, że własne istnienie ma znaczenie (George, Park, 2016;Martela, Steger, 2016). ...
Chapter
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The COVID-19 pandemic is associated with numerous factors that constitute a potential psychological burden. Apart from the threat to the life and health of one’s own and the close ones, negative consequences of pandemic may result from social isolation, loss of job and income, or intensification of conflicts in relationships with household members. The aim of the study was to determine which of the threats or limitations related to the pandemic were perceived as a psychological burden in the first months of the pandemic and six months after the first measurement. The study was a part of the ADJUST project and was conducted in the second week of June 2020, i.e. about three months after the announcement of the state of epidemic in Poland and the introduction of lockdown measures. The data was collected from a representative group of Poles (N = 1904) from an internet panel. The respondents completed a set of self-report questionnaires on the difficulties they experienced and coping with the pandemic situation. The study was repeated after six months on the same sample (December 2021). In the second wave of the study, N = 1,398 respondents completed the entire questionnaire. The risk of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus was a significant psychological burden for most of the respondents. However, participants indicated even more often uncertainty about the duration of the pandemic and the risk of contracting the virus by relatives. The lack of sufficient information and unsatisfactory crisis management of a pandemic were also often pointed out. Many other aspects of the situation, such as restrictions on leisure activities and private travels, or limiting contacts with people to the closest ones, were also a significant burden for the majority of respondents. In the second wave, compared to the first, a decrease in the perceived well-being of the respondents was noted. The results of the structural modeling revealed differences between the two time points. For the first wave of the study, significant predictors of a decline in well-being were the burdens resulting from limitation of public life, and for the second wave, those associated with prolonged stay at home. The conducted study provided knowledge about which of the introduced restrictions on public life were perceived by Poles as the most burdensome for their well-being. Monitoring the sense of burden resulting from the restrictions seems to be important especially in the context of adjusting psychological interventions to the pandemic situation. In the light of the results obtained, a particularly important problem seems to be the limitation of the right to leisure activities and private travels, the lack of private space, the threat to the sense of security in one’s own home, including the increase in conflicts and the threat of violence, as well as coping with stress in a situation of constant stay with household members in poor housing conditions.
... Therefore, we report the results based on the all items. Mplus outcomes of the measurement invariance tests are available on OSF. 4. Search for meaning is not typically considered an indicator of well-being as its relationship with other well-being indicators tends to be moderated by other factors (Park et al., 2010;Steger et al., 2008). However, we included it here given the link between TSAG lay theories and meaning-making. ...
... Meaning in life is defined as the strength and intensity of the efforts made by people to understand and enhance the meaning, importance, and purpose of their lives, including the presence meaning in life and search for meaning in life (25). According to Maslow's motivation theory, the most important motivation for individual action comes from the individual's most pressing needs. ...
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Identifying which factors influence depressive symptom during the COVID-19 pandemic is highly significant for psychological crisis interventions among adolescents. Social support is likely to be one of the main factors. However, the underlying mechanism is still not well understood in the context of COVID-19. The current study examines whether loneliness and meaning in life mediate the association between social support and depressive symptoms in adolescents. A sample of 1,317 high school students in China were surveyed using the Perceived Social Support Scale, the Chinese Child Loneliness Scale, the Meaning in Life Questionnaire, and the Beck Depression Inventory-II. The results showed that social support predicted depressive symptoms directly and indirectly by enhancing loneliness and diminishing the sense of meaning in life. These findings help in providing new entry points in the design of effective depression prevention and intervention for adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
... Some individual differences could be useful in predicting who would be more likely to benefit from microdosing. One promising individual difference is trait absorption, which positively predicts a search for meaning in life (Steger et al., 2008) and predicts both likelihood of mystical experiences and well-being improvement following ingestion of higher doses of psychedelic compounds . Those high on trait absorption and a search for meaning in life may benefit more from using psychedelics. ...
Article
NOTE: This paper is open-access. You can access the full-text at the journal's website for free. The use of psychedelic substances in both humanistic and mainstream clinical research has been increasing in the last decade. In particular, the practice of microdosing—ingesting sub-hallucinogenic doses of psychedelics—has been increasing in popularity, but large-scale qualitative analyses are still uncommon. This study attempted to recognize emergent themes in qualitative reports regarding the experience of microdosing to enrich the theoretical landscape in psychedelic research and propose future research directions for both basic and clinical research. Participants were people who reported microdosing at least once in the last year; they described their experiences using an online survey. Data from 118 informative responses suggested four main emergent themes: reasons for microdosing, the practice of microdosing itself, outcomes linked to microdosing, and meta-commentary about microdosing. We use meaning-making theory and propose that, even at low doses, psychedelic substances can provide a sense of meaning. Our results suggest that many of the reported benefits occur regardless of motivation to microdose and are likely due to the enhanced psychological flexibility and a sense of connectedness made possible due to the use of psychedelics. Double-blind, placebo-controlled experiments are required to substantiate these reports.
... This means that some people may perceive their participation in biobanking as an opportunity to find an important goal or kind of personal mission focused on scientific development and helping others. Such an interpretation may be consistent with the theoretical assumptions related to the understanding of the search for meaning in life as the effort to establish or expand the meaning and purpose of one's life [61]. ...
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Over the past few decades, there has been a dynamic development of biobanks collecting human biological material and data. Advances in biomedical research based on biobanks, however, are highly dependent on the successful enrolment and participation of human subjects. Therefore, it is crucial to recognise those factors affecting the willingness of individuals to participate in biomedical research. There are very few studies pointing to the role of trust, preferred values and specific psychological factors. The aim of our study was the analysis of the most significant relationships between selected moral and psychological variables (i.e., preferred values, types of trust and personality) and willingness to donate biological material to biobanks. The research was carried out on a Polish representative national sample of 1100 people over 18 years of age. Statistical methods with regression models were used during the analyses. The willingness to donate samples to a biobank was associated with different types of trust and specific values. Based on regression analysis, the most important factors related to the willingness to donate material to biobanks seemed to be (1) trust towards scientists and doctors and (2) selected preferred values such as knowledge, self-development and tradition. Other values or personality traits did not seem to be as important in this context. The obtained results can be useful in building the social responsibility of biobankers and scientists, issuing more appropriate opinions by research ethics committees and planning better communication strategies between participants and biobanks.
... For example, Steger, Frazier, Oishi, and Kaler (2006) differentiate between presence of MiL (i.e., the degree to which an individual perceives that meaning is already present in his or her life) and search for MiL (i.e., the degree to which an individual is actively seeking meaning in his or her life). Findings indicate that presence of MiL tends to be associated with better health and well-being outcomes (e.g., Steger, Fitch-Martin, Donnelly, & Rickard, 2015), whereas the search for MiL is often associated with poorer well-being (e.g., Steger, Kashdan, Sullivan, & Lorentz, 2008b). Moreover, research indicates that presence of MiL can be protective against the negative outcomes associated with the process of searching for MiL (Cohen & Cairns, 2012;Park, Park, & Peterson, 2010;Steger, Mann, Michels, & Cooper, 2009;Yek, Olendzki, Kekecs, Patterson, & Elkins, 2017). ...
Thesis
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A growing body of evidence suggests that meaning in life (MiL) is a predictor of health behaviors and outcomes. However, previous research has relied on self-report ratings of a global sense of MiL (i.e., how meaningful individuals perceive their lives to be in general or overall) to study the relationships between MiL and health. Meaning salience is a recently introduced construct in the literature that allows for more nuanced investigation of the ways in which MiL may influence individuals on a day-to-day or moment-to-moment basis. The purpose of the present study was to continue the development of a measure of meaning salience, the Meaning Awareness Scale (MAS), which assesses for phenomenological salience of MiL in everyday life. Using a cross-sectional design, this study included a nationwide sample of adults (N = 342) to: (a) explore the factor structure of the MAS, (b) conduct item reduction of the MAS, (c) assess the internal consistency of the MAS, and (d) conduct a preliminary analysis of the criterion-related validity of the MAS. Results indicate that the 6-item MAS represents one factor and demonstrates strong internal consistency. Findings provide preliminary evidence in support of the criterion-related validity of the MAS. This study offers a means to measure a new and innovative construct related to MiL (i.e., meaning salience) that may lend itself well to intensive longitudinal methods and a more precise investigation of the relationships between MiL, health behaviors, and outcomes.
... This view seems to foster helplessness and hopelessness, as underlying causal attributions of this situation interpretation are external and stable. Thus, searching for meaning can be understood as an important process of (self-)acceptance in moments of crisis, which is necessary to adapt to the situation and to finally perceive growth [74,75]. Similarly, religious activities like praying, reading spiritual books or attending religious ceremonies can be viewed as a way to cope with the adverse situation 41 or to find comfort [76] and to uphold a sense of active involvement and proactive action even in the face of hopelessness and threat [77,78]. ...
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It has been widely proven that resettlement is associated with negative psychological effects (e.g., increased depression and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder) among refugees. Therefore, there is an urgent need to improve the psychosocial functioning of migrants. This study assessed associations between negative dysfunctional appraisal (perceiving experiences as stressful), spiritual needs, religious coping and wellbeing. Data from paper-and-pencil questionnaires were collected from 744 refugees (69.8% male) aged 18–67 years (M = 27.99) with diverse backgrounds (including from Mashreq countries) who were resettled in Germany. Bootstrapping mediation analysis revealed that the relationship of dysfunctional appraisal and wellbeing among refugees is mediated by spiritual needs (i.e., existential and religious needs). Additionally, negative religious coping mediates the relationship between spiritual needs and wellbeing. The data obtained suggest the need for practitioners to focus on psychological interventions that strengthen spiritual needs in order to improve mental health among refugees.
... In another vein, Csikszentmihalyi (1990) discusses flow, interest, and engagement as basic to human wellbeing, forming the basis of "psychological capital" (Diener et al., 2010). Seligman (2002), Ryff (1989), Ryff andSinger (1998), andSteger et al. (2008) present arguments and data supporting the notion that purpose and meaning are beneficial to human functioning (Diener et al., 2010). ...
Preprint
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The current study intended to validate the Mental Health Continuum-Short Form (MHC-SF) and Flourishing Scale (FS) in the Malay language. The scales of MHC-SF and FS are used to measure emotional, social and psychological wellbeing. Both instruments have been employed in assessing flourishing mental health and positive human functioning of university students. A total of 131 undergraduate students (29 males and 102 females) from a public university in Sabah aged 19-26 years old participated in the study. Partial least squares-structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) is used to generate the result of measurement model. The findings showed that the MHC-SF and FS in the Malay language demonstrated a sufficient convergent and discriminant validity. The level of internal consistency for MHC-SF and FS was at an acceptable level. Both Malay versions of MHC-SF and FS have been proven as valid and reliable instruments to be used in the contexts of public undergraduate students in Malaysia, particularly in the state of Sabah.
... (Steger & Kashdan, 2013). Similarly, search for meaning includes both kinds of motivation when people find their lives to be meaningless and search for meaning and are motivated to continually deepen their understanding of life meaning (Steger, Kashdan, Sullivan, & Lorentz, 2008). In this way, the presence of meaning is more about where one is going. ...
Article
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Mental health incorporates emotional, psychological and social well-being. One of the essential aspects of well-being is meaning in life and refers to the sense of and significance felt regarding the nature of one’s being and existence. The well-being of service users is what counseling psychologists and mental health professionals often work for. Therefore, investigating the association between meaning in life and mental health is meaningful. This study aimed to explore the relationships between the presence of, and search for meaning in life with mental health status. Participants consisting of public health students recruited via opportunity sampling pursuing Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees participated in the study. The study found a statistically significant positive correlation between meaning in life and mental health status. However, the search for meaning was significantly positively correlated to psychological well-being only. It was concluded that meaning in life and mental health are related to each other in such a way that the more meaning in life reported, the better mental health.
... The term 'search for meaning', on the other hand, refers to people's efforts to establish or increase their understanding of the meaning and purpose of their lives: it refers to the process of how individuals develop their sense of meaning in life ("how can I make my life more meaningful?") [29,30]. ...
... Individuals who lack the meaning of life are easily threatened by events that full of stress than individuals with a sense of meaningful (Park and Baumeister, 2017). The meaningfulness of life correlates with stress reactions (Steger et al., 2008). ...
Conference Paper
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Retirement is a transition period from productive to unproductive life. During this period various problems arise, often due to unpreparedness and inability to carry out daily activities far different from working periods. This can cause depression, post power syndrome, loss of influence, and less social relations because the frequency of meeting and gathering with friends decreases. Based on this condition it is necessary to ensure individuals have meaningful lives after retirement. This study aimed at describing the meaningfulness of life of the retired civil servants in the city of Bengkulu. This was a quantitative descriptive study, having a research instrument with a scale of five. The sampling technique used purposive samples with a size of 30 people. Data analysis technique was descriptive statistical. The results showed that retired civil servants in the city of Bengkulu live a meaningful life. This is indicated by the fact that retirees had clear life goals and recognizing their potential, directing them to more positive things.
... The search for meaning focuses on motivation and process, concerning the active degree of drive to find meaning in one's life; the presence of meaning emphasizes experiences and results, focusing on individuals' understanding and perception of their life goals and mission (Steger et al., 2006). Because the two dimensions have different emphases, the relationship between them remains uncertain (Steger et al., 2008). Previous studies have also shown that the search for meaning and the presence of meaning have different effects on the psychological characteristics of individuals (Yek et al., 2017). ...
Article
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Mental toughness is an essential component of adolescent athletes' athletic careers and lives. Evidence supports the positive effect of belief in a just world on individual psychological development, but the relationship between belief in a just world and mental toughness of adolescents has not been tested. In order to determine the influencing factors of mental toughness and explore effective strategies for improving adolescent athletes' mental toughness, this study introduced just world and life meaning theories to explore the relationship between belief in a just world, meaning in life (search for meaning/presence of meaning), and mental toughness. Based on the data of 1,544 adolescent athletes from Yantai and Qingdao in Shandong Province, China, we tested a parallel mediation model that considered the search for meaning and presence of meaning as mediators. The results were predicted as follows: there is a significant positive correlation between belief in a just world and mental toughness, while the relationship between belief in a just world and mental toughness was partially mediated by the search for meaning and the presence of meaning in life. Furthermore, it is worth noting that the presence of meaning played a more influential role than the search for meaning. The results suggest that belief in a just world is connected to the mental toughness of adolescent athletes via the meaning in life. Therefore, maintaining and promoting the level of belief in a just world and enhancing the sense of meaning in life may be an effective strategy to develop the mental toughness of adolescent athletes. The findings of this study can help develop the mental toughness of adolescent athletes and help them maintain a high level of subjective and objective performance under the pressure of training and competition, providing practical guidance for coaches and administrators in the training of adolescent athletes.
... Recent empirical studies have shown that the presence of meaning, which is regarded as a trait-like and relatively stable resource (Steger & Kashdan, 2007), was an indicator for promoting and maintaining physical health, based on neuroendocrine, immunological, and cardiovascular markers (Bower et al., 1998;Krause, 2004;O'Connor & Vallerand, 1998;Smith & Zautra, 2004), as well as mental health in terms of greater happiness and life satisfaction, less depression, distress, anxiety, and loneliness (Ishida & Okada, 2006;Shiah et al., 2015;Steger & Frazier, 2005;Steger & Kashdan, 2007), and reductions in substance abuse (Nicholson et al., 1994) and smoking (Steger et al., 2009a, b). On the other hand, search for meaning correlates with ill-being indicators (Schulenberg et al., 2011;Steger & Park, 2012;Steger et al., 2008a, b). So far, there has been no study that examined the role of the presence or search for meaning in a sample of GAD subjects, but we expect that presence of meaning will be lower in the GAD sample than in the non-anxious control group. ...
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Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a widespread psychiatric disorder. According to the transdiagnostic approach, death anxiety can underpin predominantly somatic manifestations of GAD. Personal resilience factors such as a sense of a meaningful life, and psychological hardiness, which can protect people from developing clinical symptoms, may be lower in individuals with GAD. So far, there has been no study examining the role of meaning in life dimensions, death anxiety, and hardiness in individuals with GAD in Turkey. Thus, we aimed to investigate to what extent the GAD sample differs from the non-anxious control group in terms of death anxiety, meaning in life dimensions, and hardiness. Secondly, we examined how conceptually predicted death anxiety by meaning in life dimensions and hardiness regardless of diagnosis, age, and gender. Just before the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, we could only recruit 38 individuals with GAD and 31 non-anxious control subjects. The Death Anxiety Scale, The Meaning in Life Questionnaire, and the Psychological Hardiness Scale were administered to all the participants. The one-way MANOVA results with Bonferroni adjustment revealed that individuals with GAD significantly differed from the control group in every way. Hierarchical regression analysis displayed that the presence of meaning made the most significant contribution in predicting death anxiety. In conclusion, existential issues such as death anxiety, hardiness, and meaningful life can be emphasized for the treatment of GAD, and the presence of meaning is the most crucial antidote to avoid death anxiety in all individuals.
... The term 'search for meaning', on the other hand, refers to people's efforts to establish or increase their understanding of the meaning and purpose of their lives: it refers to the process of how individuals develop their sense of meaning in life ('how can I make my life more meaningful?') [29,30]. ...
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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.
... Indeed, according to Rose (2014), systemic influences that affect an individual's self-permission can be very much concerned with the possibility of unfavourable outcomes in the future (Rose, 2014). At the same time, those who associate an optimistic structure, order or meaning in life often exhibit a sense of relatedness, self-acceptance and perceived personal growth (Steger, Kashdan, Sullivan, & Lorentz, 2008). ...
Thesis
In recent years, Latin America has experienced unprecedented growth in education coverage resulting in an acute strain on an already challenged infrastructure. Given the raft of research illustrating the strong relationship between teacher quality and student achievement the need to develop a proficient workforce to sustain the rapid change and improvement is critical. This study focuses on the improvement of teacher quality as a conduit to improving students' educational experiences. The study incorporates a mixed-methods design in two phases focusing on three key issues: (a) understanding teacher perception of self-efficacy and self-permission; (b) examining whether teacher performance can be improved by addressing teacher confidence; and (c) exploring whether teacher self-efficacy and professional practice can be improved using mobile learning. Phase One investigates the relationship between teacher quality, positive psychology, and the importance of cultural norms in individuals' perceptions of their professional abilities. A small-scale pilot study (n=75) was used to test the validity of a five-level, Likert-style survey generated to explore teacher attitudes regarding perceptions of self-efficacy and self-permission. The resulting survey was then administered to more than 500 Panamanian teachers and a comprehensive quantitative statistical analysis of data collected was used to gain an understanding of the relationships between teacher experience and qualification and levels of self-efficacy and self-permission. These findings ultimately informed the content, and structure of a mobile learning application designed to positively impact teachers’ positive psychology. Using this newly created learning application, Phase Two of the main study determines whether professional development delivered using mobile technology can have a positive impact upon professional efficacy, and performance. Ultimately, the study utilizes the mobile application to deliver research-informed practical tips for professional practice. As with Phase One, a small-scale (n=20) pilot study was carried out to inform the design of the mobile application and the way it might be delivered. Data collected over a three-month timeframe using Likert-style surveys and semi-structured interviews were then used to determine participants' interaction, perceived usefulness, and professional impact of the application. The study finds that Panamanian teachers' perceptions of self-efficacy are closely aligned with their classroom experience, while their perceptions of self-permission tend to be associated with a professional qualification. It also finds that when professional development is effectively delivered using a mobile learning application it shows potential to have a useful impact on teacher positive psychology, self-efficacy, and professional practice.
... 2.-Sería especialmente interesante considerando que pueden distinguirse dos orientaciones de búsqueda de sentido (Cfr. Elliot y Thrash, 2002;Steger et al., 2008): una positiva y funcional (búsqueda de lo positivo, personas orientadas a la experiencia) y otra disfuncional (huida de lo negativo, personas orientadas a la evitación). ...
... The search for meaning has been considered "the primary motivational force in man" (Frankl, 1969, p. 121) and constitutes a healthy, natural, and engaging process that is often characterized by an openness to ideas about life (Steger et al., 2008). Recent integrative conceptualization offers a conception of meaning in life that includes three central dimensions: comprehension (i.e., a sense of coherence and the capacity to make sense), purpose (i.e., a sense of being directed and motivated), and significance (i.e., a sense of value and mattering in the world) (George & Park, 2016;Martela & Steger, 2016;Steger, 2012). ...
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Students graduating from the accounting department are future auditors and accountants, who are more likely to encounter illegal acts throughout their careers. The aim of the study is to explain the effect of ethical sensitivity of professional accountant candidates on their whistleblowing intentions and the relationship between whistleblowing intentions and ethical sensitivity. In this context, findings were obtained by applying a questionnaire to Aksaray University, Vocational School of Social Sciences, Accounting and Tax Applications students. According to the results of the analysis, it was determined that the students were undecided about the whistleblowing intention, but they had ethical sensitivity. No statistically significant difference was found between gender, ethical sensitivity and whistleblowing intention, among demographic factors. Statistical differences were determined in the averages examined on the basis of the class of education. It has been determined that second year students have higher ethical sensitivity and whistleblowing intention averages than first year students. In addition, within the framework of the answers given by the participants, it was determined that ethical sensitivity affected the whistleblowing intention by 57.2%. However, it has been determined that there is a strong positive relationship between ethical sensitivity and whistleblowing intention.
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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.
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The aim of the research was to examine the moderating role of search for meaning in the relationship between loneliness and presence of meaning. The authors hypothesized that loneliness would be negatively associated with presence of meaning and that with an increase in search for meaning this relationship would weaken. To test these predictions adults from Poland were invited to participate in three cross-sectional studies: one paper-and-pencil study (Study 1, N = 563) and two online studies (Study 2, N = 306; Study 2, N = 206). In Studies 1 and 2 the moderating effect of search for meaning manifested itself in the case of general loneliness, and in Study 3 in the case of each of the three domains of loneliness (i.e., social, romantic, and family). The studies add to the large body of research on the interpersonal sources of meaning in life and provide preliminary evidence of the moderating role of motivation to seek meaning in the relationship between loneliness and presence of meaning. The results suggest that actively striving to augment one's sense of meaning may prevent the loss of meaning as a result of subjectively perceived social isolation.
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For decades predictors of alcohol use disorder (AUD) relapse have been studied, and around 40 different clinical and demographic relapse determinants have been identified. This paper aims to investigate the relationship of two of these AUD relapse factors, namely craving and meaning in life (MiL). We hypothesized that greater meaning in life would be associated with lower cravings and lower relapse rates. An AUD subsample of 81 patients within a clinical population that participated in ongoing exploratory research on religious/spiritual factors related to substance use disorders was followed up to 1 year. Craving (as measured with the Penn Alcohol Craving Scale) and meaning in life (as measured with the Meaning in Life Questionnaire- presence subscale) measures were assessed at baseline and relapse was assessed at 6- and 12-month follow up. Main effects and the interaction between craving and meaning in life in predicting alcohol relapse (with relapse defined as ‘any alcohol use’ and ≥ 3 consecutive days of drinking) were calculated/subject of analyses. We also investigated the relationship between relapse and alcohol dependence severity as measured with the Leeds Dependence Questionnaire. Baseline craving and dependence severity were related to relapse, but there were no associations between meaning in life and levels of craving or alcohol relapse. Our findings suggest a need for additional research on characterizing the Meaning in Life concept.
Book
V monografiji avtorice predstavljajo ugotovitve več raziskav, ki so jih izvedle v zadnjih desetih letih, in jih umestijo na področje pozitivne psihologije, ki se je kot znanstvena disciplina uveljavila po letu 2000. Kot teoretični okvir v prvem poglavju predstavijo raziskave laičnega pojmovanja sreče in teoretične modele subjektivnega blagostanja. Poudarek na znanstveni ustreznosti merskih instrumentov v pozitivni psihologiji je spodbudil interes za konstrukt subjektivnega blagostanja tudi na drugih področjih psihologije.
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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.
Chapter
This chapter will discuss the importance of spirituality and religiosity for well-being of stakeholders in higher education, particularly of students. It will be argued that young adults are at a crucial juncture in their lives where old certainties are falling away with the individual attempt to forge a new path for themselves. This journey is fraught with uncertainty, particularly under the conditions of late/post-modernity where the seeker has to navigate competing truths and the ever-looming threat of absurdity, for example, the disconnection between the urgency of making good use of our limited lifespan and the apparent arbitrariness of every possible path. A group meditation and encounter format will be outlined that aims at giving students (or other stakeholders) a safe framework to explore their own meaning-making processes and grounds them in an existential attitude called faith.
Chapter
Psychology is concerned with human behaviour, therefore all psychologies are contextually-embedded and culturally informed. A movement towards globalising psychology would invariably diminish the localised socio-cultural situatedness of psychology, and instead seek to advance a dominant Euro-American centred psychology even in regions where such applications do not fit. The emergence of strong voices, and theoretically grounded and empirically supported positions from the global South in general and sub-Saharan Africa in particular, in studies of well-being allows for the opportunity to explore and describe an Africa(n) centred positive psychology. Acknowledging the limitations of cross-cultural psychological approaches, which have encouraged the uncritical transportation of Euro-American centred concepts and values, in this chapter we utilise assumptions from critical, cultural and African psychology to present our initial thoughts about a culturally embedded, socially relevant and responsive, and context respecting Africa(n) centred positive psychology. This challenge warrants consideration of early contributions to the study of well-being, its current data-driven positivist tendency, as well as African worldviews grounded in interdependence, collectivism, relatedness, harmony with nature, and spirituality. For an Africa(n) centred positive psychology, it is also essential to consider questions of epistemology, ways of knowing about the world and the human condition, context respecting knowledge, and theory building. Drawing on current scholarly evidence in sub-Saharan Africa, which emphasises relationality and societal values and norms shaping experiences of well-being, we propose future directions and discuss implications for empirical research and theory building within positive psychology which seeks to centre Africa and African experiences.
Chapter
This chapter presents an exploration of the nature of student goals and obstacles, and the role played by meaning in life and hope thinking in distinguishing them. Male and female (n = 101) students between 18 and 34 years (mean = 22 years) participated in a concurrent equal status, exploratory, mixed-method design study. They were asked about the nature of their goals and anticipated obstacles using open-ended formatted questions, and completed the Dispositional Hope Scale and Meaning in Life Questionnaire. Latent classes of Hope-Meaning were extracted, and compared for the nature of goals and perceived obstacles. Qualitative data were subjected to content analysis. Results show a division of the sample into two Hope-Meaning latent classes: “High hope, high meaning” (92.1%) and “Low hope, search for meaning” (7.9%). The identified and prioritised goals were: tertiary education, employment and career, mobility, secure accommodation, and support for family. Their prioritisation of tertiary education and employment was explained by the need to secure a better material future and support their families. Five obstacles were reported: lack of resources, poor self-regulation, employment problems, fear of failure, and health problems. No goal and obstacle content distinction was made between the two emergent Hope-Meaning latent classes.
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Being with raison d’être, or the meaning of living, usually has a positive effect on the psychological wellbeing of humans. The impact of an endeavor or desire to be with raison d’être on human wellbeing remains undetermined. This study investigated the potential impact of an obsession with raison d’être on human psychological wellbeing. A literature review revealed that only a limited number of studies have evaluated the relationship between attitudes toward raison d’être and psychological wellbeing. Some indicate that a pathological obsession with a self-oriented raison d’être, especially when the search is attempted via maladaptive ways, may eventually cause harm and distress to those who are the objects of obsession and the surrounding people. If obsessed people persist to preserve raison d’être in the community, they need to continuously demonstrate the advantage of their existence and differentiation from other members. As conceivable adaptive ways to search for raison d’être, people make efforts to enhance their talents, achieve certifications, be promoted, or dedicate themselves to volunteers. However, if these adaptive ways have failed, some obsessed people may change their processes to maladaptive ways, such as attacking or criticizing other members who are a threat to their satisfaction with raison d’être. Such maladaptive approaches in the community would harm both the obsessed and surrounding members. To date, the negative aspect of desiring for raison d’être has remained largely unevaluated. Research regarding the prevalence of pathologic obsession with raison d’être in the general population, its impact on human wellbeing, and treatability is warranted.
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In this article, we attempt to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables at a number of levels. First, we seek to make theorists and researchers aware of the importance of not using the terms moderator and mediator interchangeably by carefully elaborating, both conceptually and strategically, the many ways in which moderators and mediators differ. We then go beyond this largely pedagogical function and delineate the conceptual and strategic implications of making use of such distinctions with regard to a wide range of phenomena, including control and stress, attitudes, and personality traits. We also provide a specific compendium of analytic procedures appropriate for making the most effective use of the moderator and mediator distinction, both separately and in terms of a broader causal system that includes both moderators and mediators. (46 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Several literatures converge on the idea that approach and positive affect related to goal pursuit are managed by one self-regulatory system and that avoidance (or withdrawal) and negative affect related to threats are managed by a second self-regulatory system. After briefly reviewing these literatures, the authors consider the relation of these themes to the broader domain of personality. In particular, they map individual differences in the responsivity of the approach system onto the personality dimension of extraversion and map individual differences in the responsivity of the withdrawal system onto the dimension of neuroticism. This mapping requires a slight refocusing of current conceptions of extraversion and neuroticism. However, such a refocusing brings a gain as well as a cost: In particular, it would embed these dimensions more explicitly in a process-oriented conceptualization of action control.
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Meaning in life is thought to be important to well-being throughout the human life span. We assessed the structure, levels, and correlates of the presence of meaning in life, and the search for meaning, within four life stage groups: emerging adulthood, young adulthood, middle-age adulthood, and older adulthood. Results from a sample of Internet users (N = 8756) demonstrated the structural invariance of the meaning measure used across life stages. Those at later life stages generally reported a greater presence of meaning in their lives, whereas those at earlier life stages reported higher levels of searching for meaning. Correlations revealed that the presence of meaning has similar relations to well-being across life stages, whereas searching for meaning is more strongly associated with well-being deficits at later life stages.
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The primary objectives of this article are (a) to put forth an explicit operational formulation of positive human health that goes beyond prevailing "absence of illness" criteria; (b) to clarify that positive human health does not derive from extant medical considerations, which are not about wellness, but necessarily require a base in philosophical accounts of the "goods" in life; (c) to provoke a change of emphasis from strong tendencies to construe human health as exclusively about the mind or the body toward an integrated and positive spiral of mind-body influences; (d) to delineate possible physiological substrates of human flourishing and offer future directions for understanding the biology of positive health; and (e) to discuss implications of positive health for diverse scientific agendas (e.g., stress, class and health, work and family life) and for practice in health fields (e.g., training, health examinations, psychotherapy, and wellness intervention programs).
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Although theoretical and empirical work on topics related to meaning and meaning making proliferate, careful evaluation and integration of this area have not been carried out. Toward this end, this article has 3 goals: (a) to elaborate the critical dimensions of meaning as it relates to stressful life events and conditions, (b) to extend the transactional model of stress and coping to include these dimensions, and (c) to provide a framework for understanding current research and directions for future research within this extended model. First, the authors present a framework for understanding diverse conceptual and operational definitions of meaning by distinguishing 2 levels of meaning, termed global meaning and situational meaning. Second, the authors use this framework to review and synthesize the literature on the functions of meaning in the coping process and propose a definition of meaning making that highlights the critical role of reappraisal. The authors specify the roles of attributions throughout the coping process and discuss implications for future research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Meaning in life has been identified as a potential mediator of the link between religiousness and psychological health. The authors tested this hypothesis in 2 studies, using multiple methods and measures of religiousness and well-being. In the studies, meaning in life mediated the relation between religiousness and life satisfaction (Study 1A), as well as self-esteem and optimism (Study 1B). In addition, using an experience sampling method, the authors found that meaning in life also mediated the relation between daily religious behaviors and well-being (Study 2). The authors discuss these findings and suggest that meaning in life may be an effective conduit through which counselors and clients can discuss "ultimate" matters, even when they do not share similar perspectives on religion. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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J. A. Gray (1981, 1982) holds that 2 general motivational systems underlie behavior and affect: a behavioral inhibition system (BIS) and a behavioral activation system (BAS). Self-report scales to assess dispositional BIS and BAS sensitivities were created. Scale development (Study 1) and convergent and discriminant validity in the form of correlations with alternative measures are reported (Study 2). In Study 3, a situation in which Ss anticipated a punishment was created. Controlling for initial nervousness, Ss high in BIS sensitivity (assessed earlier) were more nervous than those low in BIS sensitivity. In Study 4, a situation in which Ss anticipated a reward was created. Controlling for initial happiness, Ss high in BAS sensitivity (Reward Responsiveness and Drive scales) were happier than those low in BAS sensitivity. In each case the new scales predicted better than an alternative measure. Discussion is focused on conceptual implications. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Time perspective (TP), a fundamental dimension in the construction of psychological time, emerges from cognitive processes partitioning human experience into past, present, and future temporal frames. The authors' research program proposes that TP is a pervasive and powerful yet largely unrecognized influence on much human behavior. Although TP variations are learned and modified by a variety of personal, social, and institutional influences, TP also functions as an individual-differences variable. Reported is a new measure assessing personal variations in TP profiles and specific TP "biases." The 5 factors of the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory were established through exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses and demonstrate acceptable internal and test-retest reliability. Convergent, divergent, discriminant, and predictive validity are shown by correlational and experimental research supplemented by case studies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Developed and validated the Need for Cognition Scale (NCS). In Study 1, a pool of items was administered to 96 faculty members (high-need-for-cognition group) and assembly line workers (low-need-for-cognition group). Ambiguity, irrelevance, and internal consistency were used to select items for subsequent studies. Factor analysis yielded one major factor. In Study 2, the NCS and the Group Embedded Figures Test were administered to 419 undergraduates to validate the factor structure and to determine whether the NCS tapped a construct distinct from test anxiety and cognitive style. The factor structure was replicated, and responses to the NCS were weakly related to cognitive style and unrelated to test anxiety. In Study 3, 104 undergraduates completed the NCS, the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale, and a dogmatism scale. Results indicate that need for cognition was related weakly and negatively to being closeminded, unrelated to social desirability, and positively correlated with general intelligence. Study 4 (97 undergraduates) furnished evidence of the predictive validity of the NCS. (32 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Counseling psychologists often work with clients to increase their well-being as well as to decrease their distress. One important aspect of well-being, highlighted particularly in humanistic theories of the counseling process, is perceived meaning in life. However, poor measurement has hampered research on meaning in life. In 3 studies, evidence is provided for the internal consistency, temporal stability, factor structure, and validity of the Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ), a new 10-item measure of the presence of, and the search for, meaning in life. A multitrait-multimethod matrix demonstrates the convergent and discriminant validity of the MLQ subscales across time and informants, in comparison with 2 other meaning scales. The MLQ offers several improvements over current meaning in life measures, including no item overlap with distress measures, a stable factor structure, better discriminant validity, a briefer format, and the ability to measure the search for meaning.
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The purpose of the present study was to examine the factorial validity and the age and gender invariance of the Personal Meaning Index (PMI), a measure of the existential belief that life is meaningful. A combined sample of 2065 young (N=1152), middle-aged (N=483), and older (N=430) adults completed the purpose and coherence subscales of the Life Attitude Profile-Revised (Reker, 1992). Confirmatory factor analysis and multiple-groups confirmatory factor analysis was used to assess the factorial structure, age invariance, and gender invariance of the PMI. The results show that a one-factor congeneric measurement model best characterizes the underlying structure of the PMI for each age group and for both males and females. Differential item functioning across age for males and females was found for six PMI items; only two PMI items were found to be noninvariant across gender. Plausible explanations for the noninvariant PMI items are offered and the practical implications for the use of the PMI in multigroup comparisons are discussed.
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This study investigated 3 broad classes of individual-differences variables (job-search motives, competencies, and constraints) as predictors of job-search intensity among 292 unemployed job seekers. Also assessed was the relationship between job-search intensity and reemployment success in a longitudinal context. Results show significant relationships between the predictors employment commitment, financial hardship, job-search self-efficacy, and motivation control and the outcome job-search intensity. Support was not found for a relationship between perceived job-search constraints and job-search intensity. Motivation control was highlighted as the only lagged predictor of job-search intensity over time for those who were continuously unemployed. Job-search intensity predicted Time 2 reemployment status for the sample as a whole, but not reemployment quality for those who found jobs over the study's duration. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Reigning measures of psychological well-being have little theoretical grounding, despite an extensive literature on the contours of positive functioning. Aspects of well-being derived from this literature (i.e., self-acceptance, positive relations with others, autonomy, environmental mastery, purpose in life, and personal growth) were operationalized. Three hundred and twenty-one men and women, divided among young, middle-aged, and older adults, rated themselves on these measures along with six instruments prominent in earlier studies (i.e., affect balance, life satisfaction, self-esteem, morale, locus of control, depression). Results revealed that positive relations with others, autonomy, purpose in life, and personal growth were not strongly tied to prior assessment indexes, thereby supporting the claim that key aspects of positive functioning have not been represented in the empirical arena. Furthermore, age profiles revealed a more differentiated pattern of well-being than is evident in prior research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Cognitive-experiential self-theory (CEST) is a broadly integrative theory of personality that is compatible with psychodynamic theories of personality, learning theories, phenomenological theories, and modern cognitive views about information processing. It achieves its integrative power through two major assumptions: First, in addition to accepting the Freudian unconscious, it introduces a subconscious system--the experiential system--that is intimately associated with emotional experience and that automatically organizes experience and directs behavior. Second, it integrates the conflicting views on basic sources of motivation of other schools of psychology by assuming the existence of four basic sources of human motivation. In this chapter, the author reviews some of the assumptions of CEST, explores how the experiential system acquires and encodes the constructs in its system at two levels of complexity, and considers the implications of CEST for new directions in research, particularly in personality and developmental psychology. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)