Original Articles

You, me, and meaning: an integrative review of connections between relationships and meaning in life

DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2014.904097
Author(s): Maeve B. O’DonnellColorado State University, United States of America, Christof N. BenteleColorado State University, United States of America, Hannah B. GrossmanColorado State University, United States of America, Yunying LeColorado State University, United States of America, Hoon JangSeoul University, Korea, Michael F. StegerColorado State University, United States of America

Abstract

Social relationships are seen to be vital to human functioning, both in terms of psychological functioning and physical health. Relationships are a cornerstone of well-being. For instance, having positive relationships has been linked to greater happiness, life satisfaction and physical health outcomes. Meaning in life, or the perception that one's life is significant and has a purpose, is another prominent cornerstone of well-being. As such, social relationships and meaning in life should have reciprocal associations. In this paper, cross-cultural theory and empirical research will be reviewed to explore the role of family, romantic and friendship relationships in supporting meaning in life. Further, we will discuss the implications of the current research and propose new directions for future research.

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