Searching for Meaning in Life: The Moderating Roles of Hope and Optimism

2019-01-03T19:45:58Z (GMT) by Ian Fischer
While research links the presence of meaning in life to better psychological well-being, the relationship between the search for meaning and psychological well-being is less clear. The search for meaning is generally thought to be psychologically distressing, but there is evidence that this process is moderated by the presence of meaning in life. Because the search for meaning in life can be considered a goal pursuit, goal-related personality traits may also moderate the relationship between the search for meaning and psychological well-being. The first aim of this
cross-sectional study was to replicate the moderating effect of the presence of meaning on the relationship between the search for meaning and psychological well-being in a sample of undergraduates (N = 246). The second aim was to examine the potential moderating effects of hope and optimism on these relationships. As an exploratory third aim, this study examined whether there was a unique combination of the presence of meaning, the search for meaning, and hope or optimism that differentially predicted psychological well-being. Results suggest that optimism and the presence of meaning, but not hope, are significant moderators of the relationship between the search for meaning and psychological well-being. Implications and limitations of these findings are discussed.