International Journal of Existential Positive Psychology

Meaning and Spirituality Across the Adult Lifespan

Dorothy J. Steffler

Concordia University of Edmonton


The present research investigated the relationship between spirituality and meaningful life and whether this relationship differed across the lifespan. Two hundred and ninety-five participants ranging in age from 18 to 100 years completed either a paper-and-pencil or online questionnaire that measured meaningful life, spiritual attitudes and beliefs, personality, and various demographics variables. Age was not a significant predictor of meaningful life, although young adults scored lower than mature adults on participating in traditional religious practices and having a spiritual perspective toward life. Having a spiritual perspective was the strongest predictor of all aspects of meaningful life, regardless of age, indicating that people who find hope in times of despair, gratitude, and have a reflective attitude have a more meaningful life.

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