Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Susan James, Fred Stickle, Wayne Higgins

Degree Program

Educational Leadership

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Humans have been using plant-derived drugs for as long as we have recorded history. Significant negative drug abuse related consequences occur in the areas of health, social issues, family relations, legal systems, and economic productivity. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between meaning in life and drug abuse. An epidemiological, retrospective study was performed to compare personal meaning in life between 49 individuals receiving in-patient treatment for drug abuse and a group of 49 matched, non-drug abusing controls. Study participants completed the Purpose-In-Life Test and Life Attitude Profile-Revised. On both instruments, the in-patient drug abusing subjects were found to have significantly different levels of meaning in life. Drug treatment and primary prevention programs should consider some attention toward life meaning issues in their strategies or environments. Future research should explore in greater detail and with larger samples drug abusers' subjective assessment of life's meaning.


Education | Educational Leadership