International Journal of Existential Positive Psychology

Attitudes of College Students Towards Purpose in Life and Self-Esteem

Shannon J. Hodges, Ph.D

Niagara University

Allison Crowe, Ph.D

East Carolina University

Abstract

The Purpose in Life Test and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale were utilized to assess the importance of purpose in life and self-esteem of students at two private universities in the northeast United States. One private institution was composed entirely of graduate students and is secular while the other is religiously affiliated and has both undergraduate and graduate programs. While undergraduates scored significantly higher on the items of self-esteem, they scored significantly lower on purpose in life. Both undergraduates and graduate students, however, rated purpose in life as very important in their lives. The results of this study have implications for college and university counselors regarding the importance of promoting life meaning in counseling relationships.

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