Concordance between goals and meaning in the community domain of life: Association with well-being and socio-demographic variables
According to the self-concordance model, people experience higher levels of well-being when their goals and the things they find meaningful in their lives are aligned. For eudaimonic well-being, meaning and goals are important aspects to consider. The alignment/concordant patterns between goals and the things people find meaningful, and how they are associated with indicators of well-being and socio-demographic variables, have scarcely been researched in the community domain of life. Making use of already gathered data from FORT3, the aim of this study was to explore four patterns of alignment between goals and meaning in the community domain, namely: no-goal-no-meaning, both-goal-and-meaning, only-goal-no-meaning, only-meaning-no-goal, and how these patterns are associated with indicators of well-being (SWLS, PANAS-PA, PANAS-NA, MLQ-P, MLQ-S, and MHC-SF-tot = Mental Health Continuum-Short Form Total, and socio-demographic variables, i.e., gender, age, standard of living, educational level, and marital status). This study employed a mixed methods convergent parallel design where quantitative and qualitative data were gathered simultaneously and cross-sectionally from a non-probability sample of South African participants (N = 585) who were 18 years or older and had at least a grade 12 level of education. The coded qualitative data were analysed to determine the degree of alignment/concordance between goals and meaning with indicators of well-being and socio-demographic variables in the community domain of life. Analyses were done to determine the frequencies with which community was mentioned as a goal or meaningful thing, or as a reason for a goal or meaningful thing. One-way ANOVA was applied to determine the associations between alignment patterns and socio-demographic variables and well-being indicators, respectively. Two-way ANOVA was applied to determine the interaction between alignment patterns, socio-demographic variables, and well-being indicators. Results indicated that community was more often mentioned as a goal or a reason for a goal than a meaningful thing or reason for a meaningful thing. The no-goal-no-meaning alignment pattern was most prominent in the community domain. There were statistically significant associations between alignment patterns and the Meaning in Life Questionnaire, Presence subscale (MLQ-P), and the Mental Health Continuum-Short Form-Total. There were no statistically significant associations between alignment patterns and socio-demographic variables. A statistically significant interaction effect was found between alignment patterns, socio-demographic variables (standard of living) and well-being indices (satisfaction with life). The results contribute to a better understanding of the different alignment patterns between goals and meaning and these alignment patterns are associated with well-being indicators and socio-demographic variables. Sub-groups were small and caution should be applied when interpreting the results. Future research should replicate this study in larger samples. Limited support for the self-concordance model was found.
- Health Sciences