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Title: Longitudinal associations of meaning in life and psychosocial adjustment to the COVID‐19 outbreak in China
Authors: Lin, L 
Issue Date: May-2021
Source: British journal of health psychology, May 2021, v. 26, no. 2, p. 525-534
Abstract: Objective: Literature suggests that ‘meaning in life’ may be a mental strength that enables individuals to function healthily and adaptively in the face of stress events. Therefore, this study aims to examine the longitudinal associations between meaning in life and psychosocial adjustment to the COVID‐19 outbreak among Chinese people.
Methods: A prospective design was adopted. 154 Chinese college students (Mean age = 20.41 ± 1.45 years) completed two waves of the assessment. Participants reported their meaning in life before the outbreak (Time 1) and their psychosocial adjustment 7 weeks later after the outbreak had occurred (Time 2).
Results: Participants’ meaning in life at Time 1 was positively related to life satisfaction and negatively related to depression, anxiety, stress, and negative emotions at Time 2. Additionally, levels of meaning in life at Time 1 were positively associated to COVID‐19‐related behavioural engagement – prosocial behaviour and information addiction at Time 2. Individuals’ perceptions of the outbreak and status of self‐quarantine did not moderate these relationships.
Conclusion: Findings suggest that individuals’ prior level of meaning in life may help them maintain a healthy psychosocial adjustment during disease outbreak, though cautions regarding the possibility to render an addiction to information about the outbreak are warranted.
Publisher: Wiley
Journal: British journal of health psychology 
ISBN: 1359-107X
ISSN: 1359-107X
DOI: 10.1111/bjhp.12492
Rights: © 2020 The British Psychological Society
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Lin, L. (2021), Longitudinal associations of meaning in life and psychosocial adjustment to the COVID-19 outbreak in China. Br J Health Psychol, 26: 525-534, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.
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