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The development of the Meaning in Life Index (MILI) and its relationship with personality and religious behaviours and beliefs among UK undergraduate students

By Leslie J. Francis and P. R. Hills

Abstract

The scales available for assessing meaning in life appear to be confounded with several related constructs, including purpose in life, satisfaction with life, and goal-directed behaviour. The Meaning in Life Index (MILI), a new instrument devised as a specific measure of meaning in life, was developed from responses to a pool of 22 items rated by a sample of 501 undergraduate students in Wales. The nine-item scale demonstrated sufficient face validity, internal consistency, and scale reliability to commend the instrument for future use. With respect to personality, the MILI scores were most strongly predicted by neuroticism (negatively), and less strongly by extraversion (positively) and psychoticism (negatively). With respect to several religious behavioural variables, those who attended church at least weekly returned significantly higher MILI scores than those who attended church less frequently. Intrinsic religiosity was the only orientation to be significantly associated with the MILI scale scores, although the magnitude of the association was smaller than anticipated. These results suggest that meaning in life is associated more strongly with individual differences in personality than with specific religious behaviours and attitudes. The implications of these results are discussed in terms of individual's personal values and attitudes that might underlie their experience of a meaning in life

Topics: LB2300, BF
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:2863

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