The Psychology of Mattering

The Psychology of Mattering

Understanding the Human Need to be Significant

1st Edition - June 1, 2018

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  • Author: Gordon Flett
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128094150
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128134320

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The Psychology of Mattering: Understanding the Human Need to be Significant is the first comprehensive examination of mattering that is discussed in terms of associated motives, cognitions, emotions and behaviors. As mattering involves the self in relation to other people, the book tackles key relational themes of internal working models of attachment, transactional processes, and more. Extensive analysis from a conceptual perspective is balanced by a similar analysis of mattering from an applied perspective, specifically the relevance of mattering in clinical and counseling contexts, in assessment and treatment. The book is supported by recent empirical advances making it an authoritative text on the psychology of mattering that will heighten awareness of mattering by informing academic scholars and the general public.

Key Features

  • Defines mattering and its various facets
  • Explains the importance of mattering in predicting key life outcomes
  • Provides a narrative perspective on the importance of mattering in people’s lives
  • Discusses mattering in terms of self-esteem, perfectionism, self-compassion, and vulnerabilities and resilience
  • Describes assessment scales for measuring mattering
  • Details links between mattering and anxiety, depression and suicide


Students and researchers in psychology, sociology, and public health. Educated lay people interested in mattering, meaning in life, suicide, resilience

Table of Contents

  • Preface

    Part I Introduction and Significance in People’s Lives

    1. Introduction

    2. Life Stories of Mattering and Anti-Mattering: A Narrative Perspective

    Part II Definition, Conceptualization, and Assessment

    3. Mattering: Definitional Considerations and Historical Advances

    4. Mattering as a Psychological Construct

    5. The Assessment of Mattering

    6. The Development of Mattering

    Part III Mattering in Positive and Negative Adjustment

    7. Mattering in Positive and Negative Adjustment

    8. Mattering Versus Not Mattering in Mental Illness: Associations With Anxiety, Depression, Suicide, and Personality Dysfunction

    9. The Need to Matter in Clinical and Counseling Settings: The Treatment Process of the Client-Therapist Relationship

    Part IV Mattering in Life Contexts

    10. Mattering at School

    11. Mattering at Work 

    12. Mattering in the Community

    Part V Knowledge Mobilization and Future Directions

    13. The Psychology of Mattering: Knowledge Implementation Recommendations

    14. The Psychology of Mattering: Issues and Future Directions

Product details

  • No. of pages: 360
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2018
  • Published: June 1, 2018
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128094150
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128134320

About the Author

Gordon Flett

Dr. Flett is most recognized for his seminal contributions to research and theory on the role of perfectionism in psychopathology. His collaborative work with Dr. Paul Hewitt of the University of British Columbia on perfectionism has received widespread national and international attention and has been the subject of numerous media stories, including coverage on CTV, CNN, and the BBC. This work has been supported by major research grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Other current research interests include the study of personality predictors of postpartum depression in new mothers and new fathers. Also, in keeping with his interest in adjustment across the lifespan, Dr. Flett is conducting programatic research on the nature and correlates of suicidality in the elderly. Dr. Flett holds a Canada Research Chair in Personality & Health.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Psychology, York University, Toronto, Canada

Ratings and Reviews

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  • carolynspencer Thu Jun 20 2019

    Extremely through account of the phenomena

    This was a very valuable purchase for me. I appreciated how the author was so extremely through with the content, situation, and phenomena. The author also reviewed seminal papers in the area which allowed for further clarification. This was a valuable purchase for me.

  • RebeccaLamperski Mon Jul 09 2018


    Comprehensive review of mattering. First book of its sort! Excellent work. Added some excellent proprietary work. Impactful to the construct and the world.