Attachment and Acculturation as Catalysts for a Meaningful Life
The current study sought to explore the ways in which attachment style and acculturation may impact one’s perception of a meaningful life. When someone has a secure attachment style, they are more likely to explore their surroundings, express a range of positive and negative emotions, and are more likely to develop healthy relationships and assume leadership positions through nominations from their peers (Siegel, 2001; Sroufe, et al., 2005). Individuals with secure attachment style are less likely to have mental health problems than their insecurely attached peers (Siegel, 2001; Sroufe, et al., 2005). Individuals reporting living a meaningful life are more likely to report overall wellbeing as well. The mental health results of acculturation are more varied (Lawton, et al., 2018; Schwartz, et al., 2010). The present study conducted a multivariate analysis to find whether individuals with a secure attachment style are more likely to report an increased sense of belonging, purpose, transcendence, and therapeutic storytelling; the four variables Emily Esfahani Smith (2017) refers to as the “four pillars for a meaningful life.” The study also consisted of multivariate analyses to determine whether individuals highly acculturated in general, and specifically to Deaf culture, reported an increased sense of a meaningful life compared to their less highly acculturated peers. Results indicated that high acculturation to Hearing culture had a significant association with perceiving life as meaningful. Participants reporting greater Deaf acculturation endorsed significantly higher scores on transcendence. A multivariate analysis found secure attachment style had a significant association with participants’ perceptions of a meaningful life.