Meaning in life and physical health: systematic review and meta-analysis

Katarzyna Czekierda , Anna Banik , Crystal L. Park , Aleksandra Łuszczyńska


This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to clarify the associations between meaning in life and physical health using random-effects models. Conceptualisation of meaning (order in world vs. purpose in life), type of health indicators, participants’ health status, and age issues were investigated as moderators. Systematic searches of six databases resulted in inclusion of k = 66 studies (total N = 73,546). Findings indicated that meaning in life and physical health formed weak-tomoderate associations (the overall estimate of the average effect = 0.258). Conceptualisation of meaning, participants’ health status, and their age did not moderate these associations. Operationalisation of health moderated the relationship between meaning in life and health. The strongest associations were found for subjective indicators of physical health. Significant albeit weak associations between meaning in life and objective indices of health were found. Furthermore, stronger effects were observed when the measures of meaning combined items referring to meaning in life and meaning-related sense of harmony, peace, and well-being, compared to measures focusing solely on meaning in life. Overall, the results point to the potential role of meaning in life in explaining physical health.
Author Katarzyna Czekierda (Filia we Wrocławiu / II Wydział Psychologii we Wrocławiu)
Katarzyna Czekierda,,
- II Wydział Psychologii we Wrocławiu
, Anna Banik (Filia we Wrocławiu / II Wydział Psychologii we Wrocławiu)
Anna Banik,,
- II Wydział Psychologii we Wrocławiu
, Crystal L. Park
Crystal L. Park,,
, Aleksandra Łuszczyńska (Filia we Wrocławiu / II Wydział Psychologii we Wrocławiu)
Aleksandra Łuszczyńska,,
- II Wydział Psychologii we Wrocławiu
Journal seriesHealth Psychology Review, ISSN 1743-7199, (A 50 pkt)
Issue year2017
Publication size in sheets1.55
Keywords in EnglishMeaning in life; health; metaanalysis; purpose in life; cancer
ASJC Classification2738 Psychiatry and Mental health; 3203 Clinical Psychology
Languageen angielski
8. Łuszczyńska_Czekierda et al 2017 Health Psych Rev.pdf 2.55 MB
Additional file
8a. Oświadczenie_publ Luszczynska pazdziernik 2017a.pdf 274.69 KB
Banik, Czekierda oświadczenia.pdf 414.75 KB
Score (nominal)50
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 2.803; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 8.597 (2) - 2017=8.699 (5)
Citation count*85 (2021-03-07)
Share Share

Get link to the record

* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
Are you sure?