The Purpose in Life Test-Short Form: Development and Psychometric Support


This study's purpose was to examine the psychometric properties for a brief, four-item form of the 20-item Purpose in Life test (PIL-SF). Confirmatory factor-analytic procedures were used to demonstrate how well the items (3, 4, 8, and 20) fit together. Reliability and descriptive data for the PIL-SF are provided, as well as correlations with other measures of well-being and psychological distress. Data are provided with respect to whether the four items are administered independently or within the larger parent form. The final aspect of the study evaluated whether the PIL-SF was of utility in predicting psychological distress, above and beyond other measures of meaning. This study utilized data from undergraduates (N=298) from a medium-sized university located in the southern United States. The PIL-SF was supported via confirmatory factor analysis, the measure yields reliable scores, and these scores correlate significantly and as expected with the other measures administered. Data were similar regardless of whether items were administered independently or embedded in the 20-item PIL. Finally, hierarchical regression demonstrated that PIL-SF scores are useful in predicting psychological distress, offering a psychometric contribution beyond other measures of meaning.



Document Type





Confirmatory factor analysis, Logotherapy, Meaning, Purpose in Life test, Short form

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Happiness Studies