Meaning in life is thought to be important to well-being throughout the human life span. We assessed the structure levels and correlates of the presence of meaning in life and the search for meaning within four life stage groups: emerging adulthood young adulthood middle-age adulthood and older adulthood. Results from a sample of Internet users (N = 8756) demonstrated the structural invariance of the meaning measure used across life stages. Those at later life stages generally reported a greater presence of meaning in their lives whereas those at earlier life stages reported higher levels of searching for meaning. Correlations revealed that the presence of meaning has similar relations to well-being across life stages whereas searching for meaning is more strongly associated with well-being deficits at later life stages.
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