Sources of life meaning among South African university students
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This study explored the sources of meaning in life among a group of 243 South African university students, using a sequential exploratory mixed methods design. First, data from semi-structured questionnaires (n=40) were subjected to qualitative content analysis; next, from the emerging themes, a quantitative questionnaire was developed and administered to 203 students. Mean scores were computed and compared across gender and cultural groups. Relationships, especially with family, as well as hope, education, achievement and religion were found to be most important sources of meaning, followed by service, creative self-expression, material possessions, hobbies, health and pets. The qualitative analysis revealed that most of these sources were valued more for their perceived instrumental utility than for their intrinsic qualities.
- Faculty of Humanities