Family and Meaning: Examining the Four Needs for Meaning as Mediators


Author: Nathaniel M. Lambert, Ph.D

Category: Articles

Pages: 14

JEPP Issue: Vol. 4 No. 1

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In a series of three studies we investigated the relationship between family and meaning and tested whether Baumeister’s (1991) four needs for meaning (purpose, values, efficacy, and self-worth) mediated this relationship. Study 1 (n=228) showed that participants assigned to think about their family reported more meaning in their lives than those assigned to think about a control topic. Using correlational data, Study 2 (n=220) found that the four needs for meaning, self-worth, values, efficacy, and purpose, mediated this relationship. Study 3 (n=128) provided experimental data to demonstrate that thinking about family results in higher meaning, efficacy, and purpose. Purpose mediated the relationship between family and meaning. Several avenues for future research are outlined.