Abstract

We examined whether American college students who perceive their college environment as supportive for their meaning searching report higher levels of meaning in life. We also examined whether students’ perception of college environmental support for meaning searching moderates the relation between the presence of and search for meaning. Students’ perception of college environmental support for meaning searching significantly predicted their presence of meaning in life above and beyond the variance accounted for by searching for meaning and life satisfaction. The relation between the presence of and search for meaning differed by the levels of students’ perception of college environmental support for meaning searching. For students with a lower sense of college environmental support for meaning searching, the presence of meaning decreased as searching for meaning increased. In contrast, for students with a higher sense of support, the presence of meaning increased as searching for meaning increased. The findings suggest that a supportive college environment for meaning searching may promote American college students’ sense of meaning by buffering the potential negative effect of searching for meaning.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-3382
Print ISSN
0897-5264
Pages
pp. 18-31
Launched on MUSE
2016-02-01
Open Access
No
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