Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


This study investigated Viktor Frankl's concept of meaning in life. Meaning in life was examined in its relation to the "will-to-pleasure," using Crumbaugh and Maholick's Purpose in Life Test as a measure of meaning in life. The subjects were 110 male and 120 female college students. They were administered numbered copies of the PIL and asked to remove the numbers for future reference. Two weeks later, a sexual behavior questionnaire, a drug involvement questionnaire, and the Dickstein and Blatt death concern scale were administered. Only 71 males and 84 females remembered their code numbers. The results confirmed the hypotheses that: (l) subjects showing a lack of meaning in life participate in sexual behaviors to a significantly greater extent than do subjects who feel they have meaning in life, (2) subjects lacking meaning in life have a higher incidence of drug involvement than do subjects with meaning in life, and (3) subjects with a low level of meaning in life worry more about death. These results support Frankl's theory and the construct validity of the PIL. A principal components factor analysis was performed on the 230 PIL test protocols and a Varimax rotation was performed. Four factors were extracted, three of which were interpreted. The main factor, interpreted as world view, accounted for 41.6% of the variance. Factors II and III, interpreted as measuring meaning in life, accounted for 6.l% and 5.8% of the variance, respectively. Sex differences were noted on the PIL. Possible explanations for the results and future considerations were discussed.


Myron Boor

Date of Award

Fall 1974

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1974 Charles P. Taylor


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