Apart from both İkigai-9 studies, including those in the UK and Japan, the present study found different correlations between anxiety, depression, stress, mental well-being, and İkigai in the İkigai-9 Turkish version study. The findings from the present study could be different due to culture, ethnicity, or geograhic area differences, either totally, or to some extent. The more data collected from different studies and nations, the more we can understand the unknown aspects of human psychology and the related psyhological mechanisms. This will permit planning of efficient and effective, preferred therapies . Posessing İkigai could be a protective factor against a number of negative health-related outcomes, including increased mortality rates and the presence of psychological burdens . The positive side of İkigai should be studied and affirmed in nations and areas other than the far East where its power and effective features have been noted in more detail. Thus, İkigai could offer a solution for difficulties experienced by many people [16, 17].
In the present study, we present the İkigai-9 Turkish version scale. This scale will be used as a tool for further studies, nationally and internationally. Similar to the UK study on the İkigai- 9, the Turkish version did not support the three-dimensional structure originally proposed by Imai and colleagues in 2012 . High Ikigai-9 Turkish version total scores were positively correlated mental well-being and negatively correlated with depression, anxiety, and stress. ; whereas for the Ikigai-9 UK total scores were not found to be correlated with any degree of anxiety or stress (Table 4).
These differing correlations imply that there are other factors present in the samples that attenuate the results. It is likely that these factors are related to cultures, religion, nationality, or other characteristics [7, 17]. However, it has been found across cultures that the more İkigai one possesses, the more unlikely they are to commit suicide as outlined by one study; additionally; Japanese suicide prevention policies support any program aimed at enhancing a person’s Ikigai in order to reduce suicide rates in Japan . While the Linear Regression analysis revealed the effect of depression, mental well- being and age on ikigai as statistically significant, the stress and anxiety was not found as statistically significant in the same analysis (Table 5).
Ikigai is not only important in psychology; for example, within cardiovascular medicine a study utilizing a Japanese sample found that Ikigai is associated with a lower risk of heart diseases [4, 5, 19, 20]. People with higher levels of Ikigai experience lower cardiovascular problems in their lifetimes, which is an important fact as this disease type is a leading cause of mortality in almost every country.
The present study has various limitations. First, we did not aquire information on the prevalence of mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression. Second, any disease or related medications or the lifestyle factors including nutrition, exercise or social interactions in which the participants engaged were not determined.
Prospects for further research
By this scale it could be possible to compare parameters related ikigai in other societies for a better understanding of geographical and cultural influence on well-being.