British Journal of Clinical Psychology

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Volume 35 Issue 4 (November 1996), Pages i-i, 487-646

Meaning in life: Clinical relevance and predictive power (pages 503-516)

The clinical relevance of the meaning in life construct is examined by evaluating its ability to predict patients' general and psychological well‐being and their post‐treatment functioning. Evidence is obtained for the notion that meaning in life (a) would affect both positive and negative aspects of well‐being, (b) that it would be related to improvement during psychotherapy, and (c) that it would predict the outcome of psychotherapy, independently of patients' pre‐treatment levels of well‐being. The findings not only support the clinical relevance of the meaning in life concept, but they also favour the construct validity of the Life Regard Index, an instrument that was designed to measure the relevant construct. It is concluded that the neglected meaning in life issue deserves greater therapeutic and scientific consideration. Clinical implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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