The Meaning in Life Questionnaire

The Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ) is a 10-item measure of the Presence of Meaning in Life, and the Search for Meaning in Life.  It is free to use for educational, therapeutic, and research purposed.  Commercial use is prohibited without permission.  I ask that you contact me to let me know how you’re using it and let me know what you find out.  You can download a copy here:

The Meaning in Life Questionnaire

How the MLQ is used

The MLQ has been used to help people understand and track their perceptions about their lives.  It has been included in numerous studies around the world, and in several internet-based resources concerning happiness and fulfillment.  It has been translated into over two dozen languages and shows robust psychometric properties across gender, age, racial, and national groups. It is currently being used internationally  in public health and population surveying by the United States’ Centers for Disease Control, the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Institute, and the International Wellbeing Study.

In what languages are there translations for the MLQ ?

The MLQ has been translated into many languages, and in many cases, the translators have provided me with their translations. This is really important because it is confusing for the field to have multiple versions of a questionnaire. I have copies of the MLQ translated into:


You can help with translations!

Beyond the translations I have, I know there are other translations out there. What I would ask is that if you have a translation of the MLQ, you send it to me, with your contact information embedded in the document, then I can help distribute your work and make sure that you get credit for it. I’d love it if the MLQ was freely available in every language, to help us all understand better what makes life meaningful.

Learning More about Using the MLQ

Although there is no manual available for the MLQ, a brief guide to scoring and interpreting MLQ results is available. In addition, a summary of research using the MLQ is provided in this article, and a description of the development and validation of the MLQ is provided in this one.


Steger, M. F., Frazier, P., Oishi, S., & Kaler, M. (2006). The Meaning in Life Questionnaire: Assessing the presence of and search for meaning in life. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 53, 80-93.

Steger, M. F., & Shin, J. Y. (2010). The relevance of the Meaning in Life Questionnaire to therapeutic practice: A look at the initial evidence. International Forum on Logotherapy, 33, 95-104.

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