It is unclear how the onset of a major health condition, such as a stroke, may impact sense of purpose long-term and whether social factors influence this change. We examined changes in purpose in 716 stroke patients (Mage = 72.09 years, 52.5% female) who participated in the Health and Retirement Study between 2006 and 2014. Multilevel growth modeling indicated that recent stroke patients’ sense of purpose declined over time relative to pre-stroke purpose, whereas those suffering stroke prior to baseline demonstrated relative stability. Furthermore, social support was associated with initial levels but not change in sense of purpose.

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Keywords longitudinal, purpose in life, relationship strain, social support, stroke
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Journal Journal of Health Psychology
Lewis, N.A. (Nathan A), Brazeau, H. (Hannah), & Hill, P.L. (2018). Adjusting after stroke: Changes in sense of purpose in life and the role of social support, relationship strain, and time. Journal of Health Psychology. doi:10.1177/1359105318772656