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Q: Existential vacuum ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Existential vacuum
Category: Relationships and Society > Cultures
Asked by: proffesor-ga
List Price: $35.00
Posted: 23 Apr 2006 05:24 PDT
Expires: 23 May 2006 05:24 PDT
Question ID: 721936
Victor Frankel in his book  in Search of Meaning (pag 126) claims that
when polled US college students show 60% didn't have a reason to live
for, that they were lacking clear direction and couldn't answer the
question of what is the meaning or purpose of my life. This statement
was made back in the early 80's. I am looking for more information
about this concept in out times and what ramifications it has.
Subject: Re: Existential vacuum
Answered By: czh-ga on 23 Apr 2006 19:51 PDT
Hello proffesor-ga,

Viktor Frankel?s book, Man?s Search for Meaning, popularized his
philosophy which he called logotherapy. I?ve collected a variety of
resources to help you with examining his work and the work of others
following his techniques. One of the tools I discovered is the Purpose
of Life (PIL) test. Apparently many researchers are using this test
and you may want to continue your explorations by searching for these.

The most helpful information I found regarding the attitudes of
college students regarding the meaning of life is a recent very
comprehensive study from the Higher Education Research Institute at
UCLA -- Spirituality in Higher Education: A National Study of College
Students? Search for Meaning and Purpose. I?ve collected a variety of
articles that reviewed and commented on this study. The key point the
study makes is that current college students are very interested in
spiritual issues and the search for meaning. I think the articles I?ve
collected will give you the updated information you asked for.

Wishing you well for your projects.

~ czh ~

Spirituality in Higher Education:
A National Study of College Students? Search for Meaning and Purpose

What is the level and intensity of spiritual experiences among today?s
college students? How are spiritual searching and behavior changing on
campus? And what does this mean for higher education institutions and

These important questions are being investigated through a multi-year
research project that assesses and tracks the spiritual growth of
students during their undergraduate college years.

The American Freshman - National Norms for 2005

April 14, 2005 
A 2004 national survey of more than 112,000 college freshman, released
April 13 by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, found
high levels of spiritual interest and involvement.

Some of the findings about students from the study include:
-80% have an interest in spirituality
-79% say they believe in God
-74% have discussions about the meaning of life with friends
-69% pray
-48% say it?s important that colleges encourage their personal
expression of spirituality
-47% consider it important to seek out opportunities to help them grow spiritually
-26% say they are born-again Christians

John Templeton Foundation Newsletter--Milestones, June 2005
A Higher Purpose for Higher Education "National Study of College
Students' Search for Meaning and Purpose"

Differences in meaning in life in students: the effect of
nontraditional status and region of country
College Student Journal,  Dec, 2004

Two hundred fifty-eight traditional (age < 25) and nontraditional
students (age > 25) in the Upper Midwestern United States and the
Southwestern United States completed the Purpose in Life inventory
(PIL). Students were grouped by major into 9 different classifications
to see if major affected purpose in life, in a replication of Coffield
and Buckalew (1986). Major did not affect PIL scores, but
nontraditional status lead to higher scores. Students in the
southwestern US had higher PIL scores than students in the upper
Midwest area.


A sample of 42 undergraduates (ages 17-28) from a small, midwestern
college participated in the research. There were 35 female
participants and seven male participants in the sample. Each student
was compensated with extra credit in an undergraduate class in the
social sciences.

Psychol Rep. 2005 Dec; 97(3):945-54. 
Expressions of life meaning among college students.

This study examined the views of 132 undergraduate students (35 men,
97 women) regarding what they considered to be contributing factors to
a worthwhile or meaningful life. They rated, on a 5-point Likert
scale, their agreement with each of 40 statements. Cluster analysis
yielded three clusters which best described the data. One cluster
comprised a religious group, and the other two clusters were
nonreligious, with one having characteristics of both the religious
and nonreligious cluster.

October 25, 2004 
New Study of College Students Finds Connection Between Spirituality,
Religiousness, and Mental Health

College students with high levels of religious involvement and
commitment report better emotional and mental health than those with
little or no involvement, according to new research released today by
UCLA?s Higher Education Research Institute.

Research illuminates students? spiritual search

Man's Search For Meaning (Paperback) 
by Viktor E. Frankl

Journal of College & Character 
VOLUME VII, NO. 1, January 2006 

Exploring Frankl?s Purpose in Life with College Students
William R. Molasso, Northern Illinois University 

This exploratory study of 354 college sophomores was designed to
determine if there was a relationship between a student?s activities
on a college campus and his/her sense of purpose in life using a model
based on psychologist Viktor Frankl?s (1959) work.

VOLUME VII, NO. 1, January 2006
Exploring Frankl's Purpose in Life with College Students.

College students' growing interest in spiritual quest topics and 
activities is one of the reasons many college educators are exploring
ways to make new connections between learning and spirituality in
collegiate life. Through most of their history, American colleges and
universities have recognized and advocated the integration of mind,
body, and spirit as an important aspect of higher learning. Over time,
however, and especially in the latter half of the twentieth century,
higher education increasingly relegated concerns about purpose and
meaning to the private sphere of students' lives. This bifurcation of
mind and spirit in the academy and its detrimental consequences for
the learning and development of college students are drawing much
attention in current higher education research and educational
practice. We examine several aspects of this problem in the January
issue of the Journal of College and Character. [Read more at]

Title: Exploring the relationship between self-Efficacy beliefs and
purpose in life

Viktor Frankl?s (1985, 1988) system of logotherapy is used by
professionals in diverse settings for helping individuals with a wide
range of concerns experience more meaningful lives. Frankl (1988) was
clear regarding the types of behavior necessary for gaining and
maintaining purpose in life (e.g., encountering people, dealing with
suffering). ? The following research initiates the exploration of the
direct relationships between several forms of self-efficacy beliefs
relevant to a college student population (i.e., college, social, and
general) and purpose in life.

Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy

The Viktor Frankl Institute was founded in 1977 in Berkley California
as an educational, credentialing, and publishing enterprise. The
Institute serves to acquaint the public with the philosophical and
therapeutic concepts of Viktor E. Frankl, MD, Ph.D., Emeritus
Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of Vienna,
Austria, until the time of his death in 1997.

Viktor Frankl Institute

The Viktor Frankl Institute is a non-profit scientific society for
Logotherapy and Existential Analysis. It is the task of the Viktor
Frankl Institute to foster the lifetime work of Viktor Frankl and to
provide access to authentic information about Logotherapy and
Existential Analysis.

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur
Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health
Purpose of Life

Summary prepared by Nancy Adler in collaboration with the Psychosocial
Working group. Last revised November, 1997.

Cross-validation of Purpose in Life Test based on Frankl's concepts.

Title: Purpose in Life Test (The)
Author: Crumbaugh, James C.; Maholick, Leonard T.
Purpose: To detect "existential vacuum."
Acronym: PIL

Dr. Betty Jane Fratzke
Indiana Wesleyan University


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