185 men and women representing five developmental ages ranging from younger to older adulthood (17 to 96 yr) completed several measures to assess the amount and origins of most meaningful events in a person's life. As assessed by a modification of the Purpose-in-Life Test, the amount of purpose did not vary per se with age or sex. Similarly, the sources of meaning did not alter across time or sex. Themes of involvement emerged as the salient sources of meaning and included love, work, births of children, independent pursuits, accidents, illnesses, deaths, separations, or divorces, and to a lesser extent major purchases. The common sources and their timing are discussed within the context of a lifespan developmental model.
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