Relations Between Health-Related Lifestyle and Meaning in Life in Young Adult

Rūta Pukinskaitė, Birutė Žentelytė


Early adulthood is a critical life period in the perspective of choosing lifestyle and searching for meaning in life. Moreover, this period is of high risk to one’s health. Addictions, destructive behavior, accidents, transport crashes and violence, as the most common causes of death and disability among young people, are also associated with lifestyle factors (WHO, 2009). In planning this study, the authors formed the research question whether the stronger meaning in life can predict the healthier lifestyle? Attempting to answer this question, the authors set the goal to evaluate relationships between health-related lifestyle and different dimensions of meaning in life in early period of adulthood.
Method. 218 adults (136 women and 82 men), aged 20 to 30 years (M=24,13; SD=3,35), participated in the study. Participants completed three questionnaires: Lifestyle Questionnaire created by the authors, measuring six lifestyle areas (nutrition, physical activity, alcohol and substance use, smoking, sexual behavior and risky behavior); Purpose in Life Test (Crumbaugh and Maholick, 1964) and Purpose in Life Questionnaire (Steger et al., 2006). The information of subjects’ demographic and social status was also recorded.
Results. The purpose in life is an important predictor of the healthy lifestyle, i.e. healthier nutrition, less alcohol and other substance use, less tobacco smoking, weaker risky behavior and safer sex. Presence of meaning predicts higher physical activity and weaker risky behavior. No significant associations between health-related lifestyle and search for meaning in life during early adulthood have been determined. Female gender is an important predictor of healthier lifestyle and healthy behaviors. Young women (compared with men) tend to eat healthier, use less alcohol or other psychoactive substance, and demonstrate safer sexual behavior.


health-related lifestyle; young adulthood; meaning in life; purpose in life

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789