Life meaning: an important correlate of health in the Hungarian population

Int J Behav Med. 2005;12(2):78-85. doi: 10.1207/s15327558ijbm1202_5.


One of the 5 coping scales in Rahe's Brief Stress and Coping Inventory, entitled Life Meaning, was examined in relation to demographic characteristics, other coping measures, and health status in a sample of 12,640 Hungarian participants. Participants were selected to represent the country's population according to sex, age, and place of residence. The study also explored the contribution of life meaning to the explanation of variations of middle-aged (45-64 years) male and female mortality rates across 150 subregions in Hungary. On an ecological level life meaning proved to be inversely related to male and female oncological, female cardiovascular, and total premature mortality rates in the 150 subregions of Hungary and on an individual level to participants' reported health status. In the total sample of individuals after controlling for gender, age, and education, life meaning scores showed strong correlations with the World Health Organization well-being scale, with self-rated absence of depression, with self-rated health, and with self-rated absence of disability. Although relatively unrelated to age, gender, and education, life meaning was positively related to self-efficacy, importance of religion, problem-oriented coping, and social support.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Existentialism
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Hungary
  • Life Change Events*
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Self Efficacy