On the relation between meaning in life and psychological well-being

Br J Psychol. 1992 Feb;83 ( Pt 1):133-45. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8295.1992.tb02429.x.


Meaning in life is an important construct in psychology, but one which has been the focus of limited research. Most research has concentrated on the relation between meaning and psychopathology, and has been conducted with the Purpose in Life Test. This paper examines the relation between meaning in life and psychological well-being using several meaning measures and both positive and negative well-being dimensions. A strong association is found between meaning in life and well-being, which is replicated in two different samples. Meaning in life is found to have a stronger association with positive than with negative well-being dimensions, suggesting the value of taking a salutogenic approach to mental health research. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Affective Symptoms / psychology
  • Aged
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Existentialism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Personality Inventory
  • Social Support