Family most important factor in making life meaningful: Study
- More than half of respondents said that family was a source of meaning in their lives
- Family came in first, followed by jobs and material well-being in second and third place, respectively
- In Italy, 43% of those polled said their job gave them meaning in life
The Pew Research Center conducted a study to look at what people in advanced economies say makes their lives meaningful. A total of 19,000 adults were polled in 17 countries, including Canada, Belgium, Spain, Singapore, Australia, and the United States.
The study's researchers discovered that family is the most common factor that people say makes life meaningful to them. Participants in 14 of the 17 countries said that their families were the most important factor in making their lives meaningful.
Also Read | This app finds lost pets with facial recognition
“Highlighting their relationships with parents, siblings, children, and grandchildren, people frequently mention quality time spent with their kinfolk, the pride they get from the accomplishments of their relatives and even the desire to live a life that leaves an improved world for their offspring,” the report from Pew Research told ABC4.
In the United States, more than half of respondents said that family was a source of meaning in their lives. According to the Pew study, jobs were also rated as one of the top three sources of meaning in life. Family came in first, followed by jobs and material well-being in second and third place, respectively.
However, the importance of work as a source of meaning in one's life differed by country. In Italy, 43% of those polled said their job gave them meaning in life, whereas only 6% of those polled in South Korea said their job gave them meaning.
Retirement, faith and religion, and pets were the bottom three things that participants said made life meaningful.
In the United States, family, friends, material well-being, occupation, and faith were ranked in order of importance in making life meaningful for those polled.
Spirituality and faith were also mentioned as a source of meaning in life by more Americans than any other country surveyed. Religion was mentioned by 15% of Americans, with New Zealand coming in second with 5%. Only respondents in Japan did not find religion or spirituality to be a source of meaning.
Another aspect of respondents' lives that was important to them was their health. Despite the global COVID-19 pandemic's impact, the study found that respondents were "no more likely to mention COVID-19 than those who do not prioritise health." Despite this, some respondents expressed gratitude for their health as a result of the global pandemic.
In the study, age had an impact on what some people found meaningful versus what others did. Younger people were more likely to mention friends, education, and hobbies as things that made their lives meaningful, whereas older people were more likely to mention retirement and health.
When it came to what makes a person's life meaningful, men and women were nearly equal. Family, on the other hand, was mentioned by more women than men as the factor that gives meaning to their lives. People with more education and higher incomes were also more likely to mention family than those with less education and lower incomes.