A strong meaning or purpose in life, as a key indicator for psychological well-being, has been found to enhance health and longevity in a large amount of empirical research. In this study, we focus on gender differences in purpose in life. Using a large nationally representative sample, we found that women enjoyed higher levels of purpose in life. We further examined the role of altruism in accounting for much of the gender differences in life purpose. Women were more likely to have altruistic behaviors and attitudes, which in turn facilitated a stronger purpose in life. Our study suggests that men could plausibly attain a similar level of purpose in life if social norms encouraged men to nurture the growth of others through altruistic acts to the same extent as women.
Journal of Humanistic Psychology – SAGE
Published: Jun 1, 2018
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