A study of the purpose in life among Korean high school seniors Public Deposited

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  • 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 existential vacuum. 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 was used. 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 families, respectively. 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 subject matter. 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.
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