International Journal of Existential Positive Psychology

Meaning Making Model: Inner purpose, Goals, and Religiosity/Spirituality Partially Predict Acceptance Strategies and Volunteerism Behaviours

Wong Chin Meng, MA

James Cook University

Denise Dillon, Ph.D

James Cook University

Abstract

The present study aimed to evaluate the influence of global meaning on volunteerism behaviours and on acceptance strategies in response to unchangeable life events. The study is based on the meaning making model proposed by Park (2010). A total of 348 participants completed the survey; ages ranging from 18 to more than 70 years. Vignettes were used as an approach to evaluate the meaning-making model. The present study was a correlational survey design. The predictor variables were global meaning as measured by purpose in life, goals, and R/S experiences, beliefs and practices. The dependent variables were volunteerism behaviours and acceptance style of responses to unchangeable life situations depicted in vignettes. The questionnaire was presented as an online survey. The results supported most of the hypotheses, confirming the relevance of Park’s meaning making model and the validity of the proposed measures. The present study is but a small step in understanding and finding empirical support for the meaning making model (Park, 2010). The results suggest that from a foundation of strong purpose in life, intrinsic goals, and religiosity/spirituality, one is in a better position to grow from negative life events. Together with volunteerism that encourages one to have an outward looking perspective in life, values in oneself could be developed and reinforced, further strengthening one’s abilities to face negative events in life.

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