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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Relationship between Expanded Concepts of Self and Well-Being
by Kamis, Russell P., Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2013, 153; 3577883
Abstract (Summary)

Research on the relationship between perception and well-being has broadened dramatically in recent years. However, the relationship between peoples' well-being and their expanded sense-of-self (the degree to which people see their selves relative to themselves, others, and life as a greater whole) remains unclear. Numerous theorists have suggested that as sense-of-self expands, well-being increases (Mara, DeCicco, & Stroink, 2010; Mausbach, Roepke, Depp, Patterson, & Grant, 2009; van Wouwe, Band, & Ridderinkhof, 2009). However, conflicting results exist with some researchers finding that a contracted sense-of-self relates to greater well-being while others have found no correlation (Friedman, 1983; Gore & Cross, 2010; Kitayama, Karasawa, Curhan, Ryff, & Markus, 2010; Pethtel & Chen, 2010). This discrepancy in findings was hypothesized to be the result of incomplete study designs, inconsistent application of metrics, and the absence of well-validated measures. This study sought to provide an enhanced understanding of the relationship between well-being and expanded perspectives of self by introducing a variety of complete, well-validated measures in a consistent and comprehensive manner. A quantitative study of 189 adults working at two separate companies in the Northeastern United States was conducted. Surveys were administered to determine participants' subjective well-being and level of expansiveness as measured by the Subjective Well-Being Index (SWBI; Bauer & McAdams, 2010), the Extended Self-Construal Scales (ESCS; DeCicco & Stroink, 2007), and the Self-Expansiveness Level Form (SELF, Pappas & Friedman, 2007), respectively. Multivariate regression identified a significant correlation with the most expansive (i.e., universal) dimension of extended self-construal theory, R2 = .17, F(l, 187) = 37.78, p < .001, and the least expansive (i.e., personal) dimension of self-expansiveness theory, R2 = .07, F(l, 187) = 14.79, p < .001. An assessment of these sense-of-selfmetrics indicated that the unique way they are operationalized may explain the contradictory findings. Adding back the omitted meaning in life dimension in self-expansiveness, more expansive sense-of-self dimensions were found to correlate with greater levels of well-being in both models. Additional research is recommended to further clarify the role meaning in life plays, develop better sense-of-self measures, and determine the impact living in alignment with one's sense-of-self has on well-being.

Indexing (document details)
School: Northcentral University
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-B 75/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology
Keywords: Meaning in life, Positive psychology, Self construal, Self expansiveness, Sense of self, Well being
Publication Number: 3577883
ISBN: 978-1-303-65734-4
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