Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

An Investigation into Psychological Well-Being Levels of Higher Education Students with Respect to Personality Traits and Self-Compassion*

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

An Investigation into Psychological Well-Being Levels of Higher Education Students with Respect to Personality Traits and Self-Compassion*

Article excerpt


The purpose of this study is to investigate the correlation between psychological well-being, personal traits and self-compassion levels, and to find out whether personal traits and self-compassion level significantly predict psychological well-being. The study sample is composed of 232 (36.5%) students from Education Faculty of Selçuk University, 195 (30.7%) students from Cumhuriyet University, 209 (32.9%) students from Ahi Evran University. There were totally 636 randomly selected students in the study group, 405 of them (%67.5) being females and 231 of them (32.5%) being males. The data were collected using Psychological Well-being Scale, Adjective Based Personality Scale, Self-compassion Scale and personal information form. To analyze the data, Pearson conduct moment correlations, and stepwise regression analysis technique were used. It was seen that there was a significant positive correlation between all subscales of psychological well-being and self-compassion. There was a negative correlation between psychological well-being and neuroticism and a positive correlation between psychological well-being and other personality traits, whereas no significant correlation was found between autonomy and agreeableness. Personal traits and self-compassion significantly predict all subscales of psychological well-being. It was found that the most significant predictor of positive relations with others as a subscale of psychological well-being is extroversion; that the most prominent predictor of autonomy, environmental mastery, and purpose in life and self-acceptance subscales is self-compassion, and that the variable which predicts the subscale of personal growth best is openness to experience as personal traits.

Key Words

Five-factor Personality Theory, Personal Traits, Psychological Well-being, Self-compassion.

In recent years, psychologists have focused on positive sides of people rather than their problems. The purpose of positive psychology is to initiate a change that concentrates on equipping people with positive qualities rather than struggling to change bad aspects of life. One of the concepts of this approach is psychological well-being (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). Ryff (1995) suggests that well-being should be defined with respect to positive properties. Psychological well-being means more than being free from stress, and not having other psychological problems. It encompasses positive self-perception, positive relations with others, environmental mastery, autonomy, purpose in life and emotions inclined towards a healthy development (Ryff, 1995). In order to account for well-being, two different perspectives are seen in the literature. The first is the concept of hedonism, and the other is psychological functionality (eudaimonic) (Keyes, Shmotkin, & Ryff, 2002; Ryan & Deci, 2000). The hedonist perspective defines well-being as satisfaction and happiness. The main criterion for the conceptualization of the hedonist perspective is a person's evaluating his/her life according to a set of values and standards that he/she determine. The perspective of psychological functionality defines well-being based on self-realization and full functionality (Waterman, 1993). Schmutte and Ryff (1997) argue that though typical measurements that stress positive affect, negative affect and life satisfaction as three components of psychological well-being are effective in measuring well-being, they are conceptually not appropriate for psychological health development. According to Ryff (1989a), structures that underlie well-being basically has a more complicated structure than that commonly seen in the literature. Ryff (1989a) also states that psychological well-being is a multidimensional structure rather than a mere combination of positive and negative affect and life satisfaction.

The positive psychological function has six different dimensions. These dimensions include positive assessment of an individual's life and personal history (self-acceptance), the feeling of continuous growth and development as an individual (personal growth), the individual's belief that life is meaningful and purposeful (purpose in life), establishing quality relations with other individuals (positive relations with others), the ability of the individual to direct his/her life and the world around him/her (environmental mastery), making individual decisions (autonomy) (Ryff & Keyes, 1995) Positive Relations with Others: Ryff (1989a) defined positive relations as "strong emotions of empathy and love established with others in a clear and reliable way". …

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