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date: 24 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter first describes theory regarding meaning-making in the context of major life stress from the perspective of an integrative meaning-making model, which distinguishes global and situational meaning, the latter of which comprises appraised meaning, meaning-making, and meanings made. Using this model, the empirical evidence regarding how these aspects of meaning influence health and well-being is critically reviewed. Results suggest that global meaning, appraised meaning, meaning-making, and meanings made have potent influences on psychological and physical well-being. However, current research is methodologically limited, and much remains unknown about meaning-making and adjustment. Suggestions for future research conclude the chapter.

Keywords: stress, coping, global meaning, situational meaning, meaning-making, stress-related growth

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