Meaning as an Early Determinant of Childhood Mental Health: Potential Influence of Religious Attendance

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Title: Meaning as an Early Determinant of Childhood Mental Health: Potential Influence of Religious Attendance
Authors: St. John, Elizabeth
Date: 2017-05-02
Abstract: A sense of meaning in life is a known predictor of mental health and other positive outcomes in adults and adolescents. This concept has yet to be explored in young children, potentially due to the lack of meaning measures for children. This study assessed the validity and reliability of the video-based, self-report Interactive Symptom Assessment (I.S.A.) and the Child Identity and Purpose Questionnaire (Ch.I.P.) to measure well-being and meaning respectively. Furthermore, this study examined the relationship between meaning and mental health as well as what may make religious attendance meaningful for children. The Ch.I.P includes the four components of meaning relevant for children: Agency, self-esteem, hope, and openness to experience. The online self-report questionnaires were administered to 62 children ages 6 to 12 in schools and religious communities. Correlational analyses supported the reliability and convergent validity of the I.S.A. and the Ch.I.P. Children’s self-reported meaning was positively associated with internalizing and externalizing well-being (r = .648, p < .01). Children also reported qualities of worship attendance that they find meaningful. Findings point to the importance of having programs to increase meaning in children in places they frequent, as well as provide a framework for ways to make existing community organizations, such as places of worship, more meaningful for children.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/36027
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-20307
CollectionThèses Saint-Paul // Saint Paul Theses
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