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

Craig J. Bryan, William B. Elder, Mary McNaughton-Cassill, Augustine Osman, Ann Marie Hernandez, Sybil Allison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

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, ΔR 2 = 0.047) and suicidal ideation (p = 0.043, ΔR 2 = 0.017), and better functioning at work and in intimate relationships, nonfamily relationships, and recreational activities (p < 0.001, ΔR 2 = 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)444-452
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Positive Psychology
Volume8
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013

Keywords

  • functioning
  • meaning in life
  • military
  • social support
  • suicidal ideation
  • suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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