Concordance of goals and meaning in the intrapersonal life domain: Associations with demographic variables and well-being
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Goals and meaning are important facets of eudaimonic well-being. Scholars have studied goals and meaning separately, but research is sparse on the alignment of goals and meaning, especially in specific life domains and how these may be associated with demographic variables and other indicators of well-being. The FORT3 Research Project investigated the prevalence of levels of psychosocial health with regards to the dynamics and relationships with biomarkers of (ill)health in a South African social context. One aim of the FORT3 project was the exploration of the nature, sources, and motives for positive relationships, goals, and meaning with a mixed method approach; as well as the exploration of the connections between positive relational processes, goals, meaning, and other aspects of psychosocial well-being. Contextual variables and demographic aspects were taken into account. This study formed part of this FORT3 research project in addressing these objectives using data already gathered for this project. The aim of the study was to explore the concordance of goals and meaning in the intrapersonal domain, and how different patterns of concordance were associated with demographic variables and indicators of well-being. A mixed methods convergent parallel design was used with simultaneous cross-sectional collection of quantitative and qualitative data. The coded qualitative data on goals and meaning as manifested in the intrapersonal life domain were analysed to establish the degree of concordance thereof. The results showed that the intrapersonal domain featured stronger in the motivations of people’s goals and meaningful things than in the goals and meaningful things themselves. This highlighted the importance of intrapersonal processes as a central point from where motivation and values are initiated. The results from this study partially support the assumptions of the self-concordance model whereby people will pursue goals that are connected to the “self” (self-concordant goals) with more vigour. Associations with alignment patterns and some indices of well-being were detected for certain demographic GOALS AND MEANING IN INTRAPERSONAL LIFE DOMAIN iv variables, namely age, standard of living, education, and marital status. It is therefore important to take note that the life stage and context of people should be taken into account when planning, implementing, and evaluating interventions regarding the goals and meaningful things in their lives, as well as that a one-size-fits-all approach will not be suitable. Further research should also be pursued in order to determine the impact of similar methods in other life domains apart from the intrapersonal. This could provide valuable information regarding the use of the self-concordance model as basis for the application of eudaimonic well-being interventions across all life domains.
- Health Sciences