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J Clin Psychol. 1980 Jul;36(3):661-7.

Purpose in life, depression, and locus of control.


Parallel to Frankl's theory of the search for meaning, which posits the separateness but intertwining of the psychological and existential realms, the Purpose In Life Test (PIL) has been found to have a low to moderate relationship with most conceptually related psychological measures. Extending separate correlational studies of the PIL with depression and locus of control, the current study inspected the relationship of individual PIL items to groups formed according to Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale and Rotter Internal-External Locus Of Control scores. One-hundred thirty-four Ss were split into four groups: Depressed external, depressed internals, nondepressed externals, and nondepressed internals. Although ungrouped correlational analysis of PIL items revealed only seven significant relationships with depression and two with locus of control, multiple discriminate analysis was successful in correctly classifying depressed externals about three-fourths of the time, and the overall "hit rate" for the four groups was above 60%. In addition to further validating the interaction of purpose in life with related psychological and social expectancy variables, results indicated a compounding effect between depression and external perception of reinforcement control with PIL scores in general, and two items (#4, 12) in particular, which appear to reflect the experience of current congruent involvement between the individual and his world.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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