Meaning in life, emotional distress, suicidal ideation and life functioning in an active duty military sample

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Meaning in life, emotional distress, suicidal ideation and life functioning in an active duty military sample

The present study examined the relationship of meaning in life with emotional distress suicidal ideation and life functioning in a sample of 273 active duty Security Forces personnel assigned to two US Air Force bases. Results of regression analyses indicated that stronger meaning in life was significantly associated with less severe emotional distress (p < 0.001 ΔR2 = 0.047) and suicidal ideation (p = 0.043 ΔR2 = 0.017) and better functioning at work and in intimate relationships nonfamily relationships and recreational activities (p < 0.001 ΔR2 = 0.073). Meaning in life showed stronger associations with outcomes relative to other predictors and covariates and explained the relationship between belonging and life functioning. Findings suggest that meaning in life is associated with less emotional distress and suicide risk and greater success and performance across multiple domains in life among military personnel.

Citation: 
The Journal of Positive Psychology , 2013 Vol. 8, No. 5, 444 – 452

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