Meaning in life, which is almost unanimously recognized as a fundamental component of subjective well-being, has received little research attention when it comes to children, presumably due to a lack of suitable measurement tools for this age range. This study provides evidence for the internal consistency, factor structure, and validity of the Meaning in Life in Children Questionnaire (MIL-CQ), a new 21-item self-report measure of the presence and the sources of meaning in life in children, based on Viktor Frankl's concept of the ‘meaning triangle’ (Frankl, 1959). The MIL-CQ was administered to 1957 elementary school children aged 9–12 in two diverse samples from several cities in Israel. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses supported a 3-factor structure (creative, experience, and attitude), representing different sources of meaning in life. Children's level of meaning in life was positively associated with their life satisfaction and positive affectivity (higher positive emotions and lower negative emotions), and negatively with social and emotional difficulties. Girls reported significantly higher overall meaning in life than boys, and lower levels of social, emotional and behavioral problems. Theoretical and research implications of these findings are discussed.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd
- Meaning in life
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychology (all)