Variable Details

Available Studies

MAP, MARS, Clinical Core, LATC


Not Scaled

Variable Type 


Variable Name 




Purpose in life
Sense of purpose in life

Purpose in Life - 10 items

Purpose in life is assessed using a modified ten-item measure derived from Ryff’s and Keyes’s scales of Psychological Well-Being. Participants are asked to rate their level of agreement with each item on a 5-point scale. Ratings for items that were negatively worded are flipped so that higher scores on all individual items indicate greater purpose. Item scores are then averaged to yield a total score for each participant, with higher scores indicating greater purpose in life.

Coding Item
I feel good when I think of what I’ve done in the past and what I hope to do in the future.
(f) I live life one day at a time and don’t really think about the future.
(f) I tend to focus on the present, because the future nearly always brings me problems.
I have a sense of direction and purpose in life.
(f) My daily activities often seem trivial and unimportant to me.
(f) I used to set goals for myself, but that now seems like a waste of time.
I enjoy making plans for the future and working them to a reality.
I am an active person in carrying out the plans I set for myself.
Some people wander aimlessly through life, but I am not one of them.
(f) I sometimes feel as if I’ve done all there is to do in life.

Response choices for each item:

Response choice Value Flipped value (f)
Strongly disagree 1 5
Disagree 2 4
Neutral 3 3
Agree 4 2
Strongly agree 5 1