Measuring meaning in life: an empirical comparison of two well-known measures

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 5
  • SDG 4
  • Abstract:

    This study aimed to investigate the extent to which two widely used psychometric instruments (i.e., MLQ-Presence and SoMe-Meaningfulness subscales) measure the same meaning in life latent trait. Participants were 3,020 subjects (63.9 % women), ranging in age from 18 to 91 years old (M = 33.92; SD = 15.01), sampled from 22 Brazilian states. Confirmatory factor analyses supported the unidimensionality of MLQ-Presence scale, but suggested that two distinct latent variables explained the items of SoMe-Meaningfulness scale. This result was further supported by a bi-factor exploratory structural equation modeling, which showed that items 4 and 5 of the SoMe-Meaningfulness scale were primarily influenced by a second latent trait rather than by MIL. Further analyses showed that this second latent trait was more closely related with self-transcendence issues (generativity and spirituality, specifically) instead of MIL.