Meaning and Growth within Positive Psychology
Toward a More Complete Understanding
This chapter assesses the present state of integration within positive psychology regarding one particular aspect of human experience—meaning—which is central to human existence, regardless of the valence of that meaning. It examines the extent to which meaning is adequately captured in positive psychology perspectives and then describes what seems to be missing from this view at present. As a potential remedy, it proposes the grounding of positive psychological inquiry into issues of meaning and meaning making in an existential spiritual framework. Such a framework could bridge the fairly extensive but distinct work being conducted on meaning and stress-related growth and that on positive psychology, benefitting both areas of inquiry. The chapter concludes with ideas about how research on meaning, so framed, might move forward.
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