Biopsychosocial Factors That Influence the Purpose in Life among Working Adults and Retirees

Anabela Coelho, Manuel Lopes, Marta Barata, Sofia Sousa, Margarida Goes, Florbela Bia, Ana Dias, Ana João, Leonel Lusquinhos, Henrique Oliveira, Tânia Gaspar

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This study aimed to identify and characterize biopsychosocial factors that impact the purpose in life (PIL) among adults that are working or already retired. This cross-sectional study includes a sample of 1330 participants, of whom 62.2% were female, with ages ranging from 55 and 84 years, with a mean of 61.93 years and a standard deviation of 7.65. Results suggest that the education level, stress, spirituality (religion) and optimism, social support from friends, and quality of life related to physical health seem to contribute positively to the PIL for both groups. However, some variables such as age, marital status and environmental quality of life help explain the PIL of retired people and the quality of life related to social support helps explain the PIL of working adults. Overall, the reported findings suggest that the purpose in life is strongly related to physical, psychological, social and environmental health factors. It is highlighted that working adults and retired people have their purpose in life related to similar factors and others specific to each life stage, suggesting the need for crucial interventions to promote a healthier and more positive aging process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5456
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • aged
  • aging
  • purpose in life
  • retirement
  • social adjustment


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