Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


This thesis was concerned with an examination of psychological well-being, defined as consisting of negative affect, positive affect, and self-esteem. Two distinct approaches to well-being were identified (i.e. personality and social role). It was argued that well-being is likely determined by both personality and social role influences, and that these two areas might themselves be interrelated. Both cognitive and affective personality factors were included in this research (i.e. dysfunctional cognitions and affect intensity). Roles were examined at a general level (number of roles and their cognitive representation in terms of complexity) and at a specific level that included assessments of role stressfulness, importance, and satisfaction. Four studies designed to examine the independent and combined impact of these variables on well-being were conducted. Each study built on the previous both in terms of the dimension of well-being examined, and design complexity. Studies 1 and 2 were cross-sectional while Studies 3 and 4 were longitudinal.;Study 1 developed a set of social role stimuli. It was demonstrated that it is useful to consider a broad range of roles in well-being research. Furthermore, role evaluations of stressfulness predicted the negative affect dimension of well-being. Finally, dysfunctional cognitions were also related to negative affect. Study 2 extended these basic findings to the outcome variable of self-esteem. In addition, a curvilinear relationship between the number of roles and well-being was detected, but role complexity was unrelated to outcome.;Study 3 examined all three dimensions of well-being and included a second personality variable. Dysfunctional cognitions predicted negative affect and self-esteem but not positive affect. Affect intensity failed to predict well-being. Number of roles and role complexity did not predict well-being, and the role appraisals were similarly found to be poor predictors of outcome. There were few relationships between the two domains of personality and roles. Finally, Study 4 gathered daily affect ratings, and again dysfunctional cognitions predicted negative affect, while affect intensity predicted positive affect. Number of roles was related to positive affect.;Overall, personality was more strongly related to well-being than were role variables.



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