Personality and Creativity as Predictors of Psychological Well-Being in College Students

By Arshad, Samreen; Rafique, Rafia | Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research, Summer 2016 | Go to article overview

Personality and Creativity as Predictors of Psychological Well-Being in College Students


Arshad, Samreen, Rafique, Rafia, Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research


Psychological well-being is a state characterized by health, happiness, and prosperity. It involves feeling good and functioning efficiently in our daily lives (Elliott & Gramling, 1990). Psychological well-being is associated with positive and negative affect, happiness, life satisfaction, creative thinking, pro-social behavior, and good physical health (Diener & Biswas-Diener, 2008; Sheldon & Kasser, 1998). Greater psychological well-being is associated with many physical and mental health benefits, including healthier immune system, improved sleep patterns, lower blood pressure, and even longevity (Carr, 2004). Well-being is a dynamic concept that comprises personal, emotional, social, psychological, and spiritual dimensions along with health related behaviors (Snyder & Lopez, 2007). It is based on two major aspects of well-being: a) hedonistic (subjective and emotional) and b) eudaimonic (psychological and social) (Snyder & Lopez, 2006). Hedonistic well-being is more focused on subjective and emotional aspects of life and is also called subjective well-being. It encompasses an affective component (high positive affect and lower negative affect) and a cognitive component (satisfaction with life). Eudaimonic well-being focuses on psychological and social aspects of human functioning that reflect and facilitate the quest for achieving significant life goals. This is usually termed as psychological well-being (Snyder & Lopez, 2006).

Ryff (1995) has established a theory and model of psychological well-being and identified six inter-related but discrete aspects that relate to the eudaimonic aspect. These six factors include Selfacceptance, Positive relation, Environmental mastery, Personal growth, Autonomy, and Meaning of life (Snyder & Lopez, 2007). We have utilized these factors in our current study as they are the most widely used measures of positive psychological functioning (Ryff, 1995). On the basis of existent literature review, psychological wellbeing comprises a unified theoretical framework. The most important perspectives include life span theories, clinical theories on personal growth (Allport, 1961; Maslow, 1968; Rogers, 1961) and the principles of positive mental health highlighted by Jahoda (1958). It has long been theorized that by taking the symptoms of mental illness into consideration, mental health encompasses high levels of emotional, psychological, and social well-being as well as the absence of mental illness (Ryff & Keyes 1995).

A strong link has been established between personality traits and psychological well-being (Diener, Suh, Lucas, & Smith, 1999; Ruini et al., 2003; Vitterso & Nilsen, 2002). Personality is not merely how we feel but also how well we intend to function psychologically. Individual differences in personality influence psychological, social, and emotional well-being (Archontaki, Lewis, & Bates, 2013). Personality is, thus, a unique and organized set of characteristics which influences cognitions, motivations and behaviors in various situations (Ryckman, 1993). Currently, researchers (see, e.g., Steel, Schmidt, & Shultz, 2008) are of the opinion that there are five core personality traits consolidated in Big Five Model of Personality. This model is based on 'neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness'; supporting an association with well-being (McCrae & Costa, 1987).

Psychological well-being has been found to be linked with certain personality types, while ill-being is associated with other contrary personality factors. Extraversion (sociability) is strongly associated with positive well-being, while neuroticism is associated with illbeing (see, e.g., Argyle & Lu, 1990; Diener et al., 1999). Strong and significant associations between psychological well-being and extraversion as well as neuroticism have been established by many studies utilizing a cross-sectional design (DeNeve & Cooper, 1998; Ruini et al, 2003; Vitterso & Nilsen, 2002). …

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