Profiles of psychological well‐being in a sample of Australian university students

Navjot Bhullar, Donald W. Hine, Wendy J. Phillips
Published Online:
20 Nov 2013
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 49 Issue 4

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The present study identified psychological well‐being profiles in a sample of Australian university students (N = 207, Mean age = 30.16 years; SD = 11.90). Respondents completed two measures: Ryff's (1989) Psychological Well‐Being (PWB) scale and Lovibond and Lovibond's (2002) Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scales‐21 (DASS‐21) assessing their levels of PWB and depression. Latent profile analysis was applied to six indices of positive functioning derived from PWB scale: self‐acceptance, purpose in life, environmental mastery, positive relations with others, personal growth and autonomy. An optimal 5‐profile solution, reflecting significant incremental shifts from very low to very high PWB, was interpreted. As predicted, profile membership distinguished participants on depression. Importantly, profiles indicating moderate to very high PWB, particularly with the presence of above average autonomy, reported significantly lower levels of depression. Our results suggest prevention of, and treatment efficacy for, mental health problems may be improved by incorporating strategies that address positive functioning attributes, particularly associated with a sense of autonomy.

© 2013 International Union of Psychological Science