The purpose of this study was to shed light on a role of hope in understanding the relationship between the search for meaning in life and academic satisfaction and to suggest ways to increase hope among Korean students. We hypothesized that the relationship between search for meaning in life and academic satisfaction would be mediated by hope and the positive relationship between search for meaning and hope would be strengthened by family support and friend support. We conducted two surveys to examine the hypotheses. Based on Study 1 using a sample of 190 undergraduate students, we found that the relationship between search for meaning in life and academic satisfaction was fully mediated by hope. In Study 2, we examined the four types of hope that include internal hope and three types of external hope (i.e., family, friends, and supernatural being) to extend knowledge on what features of hope mediate the relationships between search for meaning and academic satisfaction. Study 2 based on a sample of 313 high school students showed that the link from the search for meaning in life and academic satisfaction was fully mediated by internal hope and external-peers hope. The mediating effects of external-family hope and external-spiritual hope were not significant in Study 2. Also, we found that family support strengthened the positive links from the search for meaning in life to hope (Study 1) and to internal hope (Study 2) while the interactive effects of friend support and the search for meaning on hope were not significant in both studies. Based on the results, we discussed several implications, limitations, and recommendations for future research.
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