Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)




Nostalgia, defined as a bittersweet longing for the past, has been found to buffer against existential threats through increasing perception of meaning in life (MIL). MIL consists of subconstructs including coherence, significance, and purpose. The relationship between nostalgia and the subconstructs of MIL has not been fully established and which MIL component(s) nostalgia affects is unknown. The primary objective of this study was to better understand the relationship between nostalgia and components of MIL as well as psychological wellness within a chronic pain population. It was hypothesized that participants high in trait nostalgia would have a higher overall MIL score than participants with low trait nostalgia, in addition to better psychological distress tolerance. Also, it was hypothesized that participants with higher trait nostalgia would experience a higher sense of coherence than significance or purpose in MIL. Data were collected through the use of validated self-report questionnaires, and adult participants were recruited from a chronic pain clinic in New Jersey. Multivariate analysis of variances and Pearson correlations were performed to determine the relationship between high and low trait nostalgia and subconstructs of significance, purpose, coherence, and psychological distress. Overall, the present research did not find a significant relationship between trait nostalgia and life meaningfulness. There were statistically significant relationships between trait nostalgia and self-continuity as well as trait nostalgia and psychological wellness. These findings, however, were opposite of the expected direction, which can be explained by the chronic pain patient’s experience of life meaning. Future research focusing on life meaningfulness, self-continuity, psychological wellness, and nostalgia within the chronic pain population is explored