n Commonwealth Youth and Development - Efficacy of a brief meaning-centred intervention among young people in the Free State, South Africa




The study evaluated the efficacy of a sense-of-meaning intervention with a sample of adolescents and young adults. The participants included 47 high school learners and 22 university students from South Africa (age range 14 to 28 years, females made up 63.2%, majority (55%) were Sesotho-speaking). Data was collected on their sense of meaning regarding the intervention by means of the Purpose in Life Test (PIL) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II). In addition, qualitative data was collected on the participants' subjective experiences of the intervention. A one-group, pretest-posttest design was employed. The quantitative data was analysed with t-tests for paired samples. The qualitative data was analysed by means of themes. A sense-of-meaning intervention appears to result in significant improvements in levels of meaning and significant reduction of depressive symptoms among adolescents and young adults. When comparing the two groups, the young adults showed significantly higher meaning in life, and significantly lower depressive symptoms than the adolescents, before and after the intervention.


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