The effect of meaning and purpose in life on wellness and life satisfaction

Date

2012-05

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Abstract

Wellness is now a central construct in professional counseling. It emphasizes prevention as well as treatment through counseling intervention. This is supported by the American Counseling Associations’ adoption of the counseling wellness paradigm as the preferred therapeutic approach (AACD, 1989).
Two critical aspect of wellness counseling is establishing meaning and purpose in life. Possessing these two facets of wellness may lead to a greater sense of resiliency, levels of happiness, and healthy development (Bronk, Hill, Lapsley, Talib, & Finch, 2009). Theorists suggest that individuals begin to perceive life as meaningful and purposeful around the developmental period of adolescence and emerging adulthood (Varahrami, Arnau, Rosen, & Mascaro, 2010). Few studies have examined the usefulness of meaning and purpose in wellness counseling. The purpose of the current study is to investigate the effect of meaning and purpose in life on wellness and overall life satisfaction in an emerging adult population. Specifically, following a 5-week group counseling intervention, the study will measure changes in perceptions of wellness and levels of life satisfaction. The research design for the present study includes pretest and posttest data collection of a sample of undergraduate students at a southwest college. The participants were given the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS; (Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985), Five Factor Wellness Inventory (IS-Wel; Myers and Sweeney, 2005), Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ; Steger, Frazier, Oishi, & Kaler, 2006), and a Demographic Questionnaire. The results supported the hypothesis that the treatment group would have significantly higher levels of overall wellness when compared to the control after the 5-week group counseling intervention. The analysis indicated that, for emerging adults, a 5-week group counseling intervention produced significantly higher levels of perceived overall wellness as compared to a group who did not receive the intervention.

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Keywords

Health counseling, Counseling, Health, Lifestyles, Healthy living

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