Temperamental predictors of subjective well‐being from early adolescence to mid‐life: The role of temporal and energetic regulation

Agnieszka Bojanowska, Anna M. Zalewska
Published Online:
14 Feb 2017
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We investigated links between temperament traits described in Strelau's Regulative Theory of Temperament (Emotional Reactivity, Briskness, Activity, Endurance, Perseveration and Sensory Sensitivity) and subjective well‐being (SWB)—Positive Affect, Negative Affect and Life Satisfaction as conceptualised by Diener. Participants representing early (n = 166) and late adolescence (n = 199), early (n = 195) and mid‐adulthood (n = 156) filled out Formal Characteristics of Behaviour—Temperament Inventory, Positive and Negative Affect Schedule and Satisfaction with Life Scale. Results showed that higher Briskness, Endurance, Activity, lower Perseveration and Emotional Reactivity corresponded with higher SWB. They predicted 16% of affective components' and 7% of satisfaction variance. Each well‐being component had a unique set of predictors; however, predictors of affective components varied across age groups. Higher Positive Affect was predicted by traits responsible for energetic regulation (higher Endurance and Activity and lower Emotional Reactivity) and by higher Perseveration, but their role (excluding Emotional Reactivity) was age‐dependent. Higher Negative Affect was predicted by higher Emotional Reactivity and dimensions expressing temporal characteristics, lower Briskness and higher Perseveration (Perseveration was not significant among younger adolescents). Higher Satisfaction was steadily predicted by lower Emotional Reactivity and higher Activity. To conclude, the functions of temperament traits are mostly in line with theoretical expectations, but more complex than indicated by previous research.

© 2017 The Authors. International Journal of Psychology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of International Union of Psychological Science.