- The purposes of the study were: 1) to describe and analyse the
search for the meaning and purpose in life and its implications for
education; 2) to assess the degree of development of the purpose
in life among Korean high school seniors; 3) to determine whether
there were significant purpose in life differences between classifications
within each of the seven chosen variables: sex, school type,
school location, attitude toward religion, G.P.A., parents' educational
level, and parents' income level.
The study's sample consisted of 1,114 seniors in fourteen high
schools in Korea. The sampling technique applied for the study was
that of "cluster sampling." The survey was conducted throughout the
country from October through December 1979.
The Korean version of the Purpose in Life Test, developed by the
investigator with permissions of both the author and the publisher,
was used as the instrument to assess the degree of development of the
purpose in life among Korean high school seniors. The PIL, developed
by J. Crumbaugh and L. Maholick, is a logically-keyed, seven-point
scale intended as a measure of V. Frankl's concept of "existential
vacuum": a failure to find meaning in life--a "state of emptiness manifested
chiefly by boredom." The aim of the PIL, therefore, is to detect
For the test of the hypotheses, the conceptual criterion of
existential vacuum was utilized for hypothesis one, and one-way analysis
of variance, using the F statistic, was utilized for the test of
null hypotheses two through eight. In the test, .05 level of confidence
The following basic conclusions were drawn from the survey of
the literature and the analysis of data:
1. The search for the meaning and purpose in life by realizing
values was asserted by most authorities as the most important
goal in life and in education as well. This is also congruent
with the writer's beliefs. Education can play a major part
in guiding the young toward finding their own meaning and
purpose in life.
2. More than half (55.3%) of Korean high school seniors would be
classified as in existential vacuum, according to the measurement
criterion established for the PIL.
3. Sex, school location, attitude toward religion, G.P.A., and
parents' income level were related to the development of the
purpose in life of Korean high school seniors, whereas vocational
or non-vocational orientation and parents' educational
level were not related in any significant way to the development
of the purpose in life.
4. Among Korean high school seniors, those identified as male,
urban, religious-oriented, with higher G.P.A., and from higher
income families, taken as groups, were characterized as having
more meaning and purpose in their lives than female, rural,
non-religious-oriented, with lower G.P.A., and from lower income
Based upon the findings and conclusions drawn in this study, the
following implications are justified:
1. The search for the meaning and purpose in life should be the
primary goal in the educational scene, regardless of the immediate
2. The high school curriculum design should make values education
meaningful to the student, and such education should be sensed
by the student as aiding him in his search for the meaning and
purpose in life.
3 Freedom, choice, and responsibility should be viewed as the
guiding principles which lead to meaningfulness in one's life.
4 Among Korean high school seniors, those identified as female,
rural, non-religious-oriented, with lower G.P.A., and from
lower income families, taken as groups, need more opportunities
for values education than male, urban, religious-oriented,
with higher G.P.A., and from higher income families, respectively.