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Structure and Levels of Meaning in Life and Its Relationship With Mental Health in Chinese Students Aged 10 to 25

  • Wang Xin-qiang (a1), He Xiao-xin (a1), Yang Fan (a2) and Zhang Da-jun (a3)

Abstract

This study examines the usage of the Meaning in Life Questionnaire in Chinese students aged from 10 to 25 within four age groups (N = 5,510): early adolescence (10–13 years old, n = 1,258), middle adolescence (14–17 years old, n = 1,987), late adolescence (18–21 years old, n = 1,950) and early adulthood (22–25 years old, n = 315); and analyses the structure and levels of meaning in life, as well as the relationship between meaning in life and mental health. Results showed that: (1) the Meaning in Life Questionnaire in the four age groups of Chinese students had good construct validity and internal consistency reliability; (2) the average levels of the presence of meaning and search for meaning of Chinese students were moderate or above, and had obvious differences according to gender and family location (i.e., urban vs. rural); (3) the level of presence of meaning showed a trend of rising rapidly in middle adolescence and the level of search for meaning continued to rise in early adolescence and fell rapidly towards the end of adolescence; (4) presence of meaning was positively related to life satisfaction and positive affect and negatively related to depression and negative affect, and the same correlations were found with search for meaning.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Wang Xin-qiang, School of Psychology, Jiangxi Normal University, No 99, Ziyang Road, Nanchang, Jiangxi, 330022, China. Email: xinqiangw101@163.com; xinqiang.wang@jxnu.edu.cn

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Keywords

Structure and Levels of Meaning in Life and Its Relationship With Mental Health in Chinese Students Aged 10 to 25

  • Wang Xin-qiang (a1), He Xiao-xin (a1), Yang Fan (a2) and Zhang Da-jun (a3)

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