International Journal of Existential Positive Psychology

Exploring the Relationship between Social Marginalization, Meaning in Life, and Mindfulness: A Mixed-Methods Approach

Zvi Bellin, Ph.D

Holistic Counseling Psychology, John F. Kennedy University

Karla Papula, MA

John F. Kennedy University

Jessica Youseffi, MA

John F. Kennedy University

Mark Kurai, Ph.D

John F. Kennedy University

Abstract

This mixed-method study looked at the relationship between marginalization, meaning in life, and mindfulness. Study 1 explored the empirical relationship between three constructs (N = 106). Marginalization correlated negatively with meaning in life and with mindfulness. Meaning in life and mindfulness showed a positive correlation. Mindfulness, in part, explained the relationship between marginalization and meaning in life. This suggests that mindfulness can be a helpful intervention for marginalized people who experience a sense of meaning frustration. In study 2, eight participants with marginalized identities in the U.S. were interviewed to understand how mindfulness has impacted their sense of meaning in life. Three themes are discussed: community, practices, and core teachings. The article concludes with recommendations for mental health practitioners and a discussion of limitations and directions for further research.

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