Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Subjective Vitality as Mediator and Moderator of the Relationship between Life Satisfaction and Subjective Happiness

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Subjective Vitality as Mediator and Moderator of the Relationship between Life Satisfaction and Subjective Happiness

Article excerpt

Researches on psychological constructs have a ten- dency to focus on the possible effects of negative emotions on personal behaviors and interperson- al relationships (Greenglass, 2006). On the other hand, in recent years psychological research has tended to become more interested in positive feel- ings and the emotions of well-being (Van Hoorn, 2007). According to Seligman and Csikszentmi- halyi (2000), positive individual traits and adaptive constructs, human strengths, and virtues such as subjective happiness, hope, optimism, and courage are very important for improving one's quality of life and preventing psychological problems.

Subjective happiness can be accepted as one of the basic parts of positive psychology (Diener, Lucas, & Oishi, 2002). It is also one of the most import- ant aims of people in Western cultures who want to shape their lives in a way more enjoyable for them (Veenhoven, 1994). Happiness can be defined in many ways. According to Aristotle, happiness means "flourishing human living, a kind of living that is active, inclusive of all that has intrinsic val- ue and complete, meaning lacking in nothing that would make it richer or better" (Nussbaum, 2005, p. 171). In psychological literature happiness is de- fined as a psychological state of well-being, joy, and contentment (Lyubomirsky, 2001; Otake, Shimai, Tanaka-Matsumi, Otsui, & Fredrickson, 2006).

Researches have remarked on the importance of subjective processes in happiness. Because of the question of why some people define themselves as happy in spite of personal problems, challenges, disadvantages, distress or lack of any great love or wealth, while others believe that they are unhap- py despite having life's comforts and advantages (Doman, 2010; Lyubomirsky & Lepper, 1999), sub- jective happiness has been evaluated as a popular concept in positive psychology and viewed as a substantial part of human life (Lyubomirsky, 2001). Additionally subjective happiness as a significant construct related to positive psychological states and well-being can be defined as a subjective as- sessment of whether one is a happy or an unhappy person (Lyubomirsky & Lepper, 1999).

Studies have demonstrated that subjective happi- ness is positively related to the self-perceptions of well-being, perceived quality of life (Diener, 2000; Suh, Diener, Oishi, & Triandis, 1998), physical health, social participation (Yoshiakhi et al., 2003), satisfying relationships, positive emotions (Diener & Seligman, 2002), emotional intelligence (Extrem- era, Duran, & Rey, 2005), feeling more personal control (Larson, 1989), self-esteem (Shimai, Otake, Utsuki, Ikemi, & Lyubomirsky, 2004), and self-en- hancing biases (Lee & Im, 2007). On the contrary, subjective happiness has been found to relate neg- atively to the presence of depressive symptoms (Chaplin, 2006), perceived stress (Piqueras, Kuhne, Vera-Villarroel, Van-Straten, & Cuijpers, 2011) and internet addiction (Akin, 2012).

Life Satisfaction

Previous research has indicated that subjective well-being which can be described as an individ- ual's experience with the positive qualities in their life, has two distinct constructs. The first one is an emotional component usually characterized by the presence of positive affect and the absence of neg- ative affect (Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985; Pavot & Diener, 1993; Salama-Younes, 2011; Suldo & Huebner, 2006). The second construct is a cognitive component related to a high level of life satisfaction or perceived quality of life (Andrews & Withey, 1976).

Suldo and Huebner (2004, p. 180) defined life satis- faction as "a cognitive, global appraisal that people make when considering their contentment with life as a whole or in regard to specific domains of life such as family, environment, friends, and self." Ac- cording to Shin and Johnson (1978, p. 478), life sat- isfaction is "a global assessment of a person's quality of life according to his chosen criteria. …

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