Assessing meaning in life in social work practice: Validation of the meaning in Life Questionnaire among clinical samples

Wallace Chi Ho Chan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Increasing attention has been paid to incorporating spirituality into social work practice. Meaning in life is an important part of clients' spirituality which social workers need to assess. This study therefore focused on meaning in life and aimed to validate the Chinese version of the Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ) (C-MLQ) and examine the psychometric properties of the C-MLQ among clinical Hong Kong Chinese populations. Data coming from three different groups-students, older adults and family care-givers-were included for analysis. The groups were recruited from the university, residential care homes and hospitals, respectively. A total of 179 students, 223 family care-givers and 78 older adults were included. The validity and reliability of the C-MLQ were examined. The C-MLQ was found to be a valid and reliable measure in both student and clinical samples. Significant positive correlation was found between two subscales of the C-MLQ, Presence and Search, in clinical samples. Our findings suggest that this positive relationship may be particularly prominent among the clinical samples in the Asian context, which is different from what was foundinthe West. Findingsmay shed lightonsocial workers' culturally sensitive practice.The C-MLQ is recommended as a valid assessment tool in social work practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-27
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number1
Early online date12 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

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