The Life Engagement Test: Assessing Purpose in Life
- 1.6k Downloads
This article describes a 6-item scale, the Life Engagement Test, designed to measure purpose in life, defined in terms of the extent to which a person engages in activities that are personally valued. Psychometric data are presented including information about the scale's factor structure, internal consistency, test-retest reliability, convergent validity, discriminant predictive validity, and norms. The data suggest that the Life Engagement Test is psychometrically sound across different gender, age, and ethnic groups and is appropriate for wider use. Discussion centers on the use of the Life Engagement Test in behavioral medicine and health psychology research and recent associations that have begun to emerge between the scale and health-relevant outcomes.
KEYWORDSpurpose in life life engagement assessment factor structure psychometrics
Preparation of this article was supported by funds awarded to the Pittsburgh Mind-Body Center at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University (NIH HL65111, HL65112, HL76858, and HL76852). Preparation of this article also benefited from the assistance offered by Suzanne Colvin and Ginger Placone, and the authors thank them for their help.
- Atkinson, J. W. (1964). An Introduction to Motivation. Van Nostrand, Princeton, NJ.Google Scholar
- Barefoot, K. C., Dodge, K. A., Peterson, B. L., Dahlstrom, W. G., and Williams, R. B. (1989). The Cook-Medley Hostility Scale: Item content and ability to predict survival. Psychosom. Med. 62: 17–25.Google Scholar
- Carver, C. S., and Scheier, M. F. (1981). Attention and Self-regulation: A Control-Theory Approach to Human Behavior. Springer Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
- Carver, C. S., and Scheier, M. F. (1998). On the Self Regulation of Behavior. Cambridge University Press, New York.Google Scholar
- Cohen, S., Mermelstein, R., Kamarck, T., and Hoberman, H. (1985). Measuring the functional components of social support. In Sarason, I. G., and Sarason, B. (Eds.), Social Support: Theory, Research and Applications, Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, pp. 73–94.Google Scholar
- Feather, N. T. (Ed.). (1982). Expectations and Actions: Expect-ancy-Value Models in Psychology. Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ.Google Scholar
- Matthews, K. A., Owens, J. F., Edmunowicz, D., and Kuller, L. H. (2005). Positive and negative affect/cognitions and risk for coronary and aortic calcification in healthy women. Manuscript under review.Google Scholar
- Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and Adolescent Self-Image. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.Google Scholar
- Spielberger, C. D., et al. (1985). The experience and expression of anger: Construction and validation of an anger expression scale. In Chesney, M. A., and Rosenman, R. H. (Eds.), Anger and Hostility in Cardiovascular and Behavioral Disorders. Hemisphere, Cambridge.Google Scholar
- Vroom, V. H. (1964). Work and Motivation. Wiley, New York.Google Scholar