Mental health has long been defined as the absence of psychopathologies, such as depression and anxiety. The absence of mental illness, however, is a minimal outcome from a psychological perspective on lifespan development. This article therefore focuses on mental illness as well as on three core components of positive mental health: feelings of happiness and satisfaction with life (emotional well-being), positive individual functioning in terms of self-realization (psychological well-being), and positive societal functioning in terms of being of social value (social well-being). The two continua model holds that mental illness and mental health are related but distinct dimensions. This model was studied on the basis of a cross-sectional representative internet survey of Dutch adults (N = 1,340; 18–87 years). Mental illness was measured with the Brief Symptom Inventory and mental health with the Mental Health Continuum Short Form. It was found that older adults, except for the oldest-old, scored lower on psychopathological symptoms and were less likely to be mentally ill than younger adults. Although there were fewer age differences for mental health, older adults experienced more emotional, similar social and slightly lower psychological well-being. In sum, today’s older adults have fewer mental illness problems, but they are not in a better positive mental health than today’s younger adults. These findings support the validity of the two continua model in adult development
By means of a linguistic corpus analysis, statements were derived that reflect trait-like characteristics of playful adults. These were given to a sample of 240 adults who also completed two measures of adult playfulness. Using Goldberg’s (J Res Pers 40:347–358, 2006) top-down approach, the hierarchical factor structure of playfulness in this data set was examined. A solution with seven factors fits the data well and could be clearly interpreted. The retrieved factors were (1) cheerful-engaged; (2) whimsical; (3) impulsive; (4) intellectual-charming; (5) imaginative; (6) lighthearted; and (7) kind-loving. The two playfulness measures did not cover all of these dimensions. The intellectual-charming and the kind-loving variants of playfulness were less well represented in these instruments. The study contributes to the basic question of what factors underlie playfulness and suggests that there are aspects of adult playfulness that were hitherto less well described.
Autonomy and relatedness are fundamental needs both in adolescence and in emerging adulthood which are affected by parental support and are linked to children’s psychological distress. The study investigated autonomy and relatedness in late adolescents and emerging adults living in Italy, analyzing the relationships with perceived parental support and psychological distress. Self-report data were collected from a sample of 325 Caucasian adolescents and emerging adults (males = 41 %) ranging in age from 17 to 26 years and living in Sicily (southern Italy). Results showed that: (a) both autonomy and relatedness were positively predicted by parental support to these needs, (b) perceived support for autonomy was positively associated with perceived support for relatedness, (c) autonomy and relatedness were positively related to each other for emerging adults, but they were not related for teens, (d) autonomy predicted negatively depression and loneliness, while relatedness predicted negatively externalizing problems (only for adolescents), stress, depression, and loneliness. Taken together, the findings confirmed that autonomy and relatedness are fundamental needs for both teens and emerging adults related to parental support and psychological health. Notwithstanding, age moderated some of the investigated relationships suggesting that autonomy and relatedness have different meanings, as well as playing different roles during adolescence and emerging adulthood.
This study investigated the influence of changing socio-historical conditions on personal goals in young adulthood. It was hypothesized that socio-historical changes related to individualization have resulted in shifts in goal pursuit. Participants from three birth cohorts reconstructed their important goals when they were 20 years old. Members of the oldest cohort were born between 1920 and 1925. Members of the middle cohort were born between 1945 and 1950. Members of the youngest cohort were born between 1970 and 1975. Goal content, the degree to which goals were perceived as being shared by members of the same cohort (social sharedness), perceived control over goal attainment, success in attainment, and life satisfaction at age 25 were measured in a retrospective study. Results show consistent shifts over time. Whereas members of older cohorts mentioned goals related to classical developmental tasks, members of younger cohorts mentioned more individualistic, self-related goals and goals related to education. The processes through which goal pursuit influenced life satisfaction also changed. Perceived social sharedness of goals was a direct predictor of life satisfaction for the oldest cohort. For the younger cohorts, perceived control over goal attainment influenced success which in turn influenced life satisfaction. These changes support the contention that developmental tasks and processes are historically variant.
Alcohol use, which is often associated with other problems in well-being, is a persistent problem among college students. Helicopter parenting, defined as parental overinvolvement, is an emerging parenting behavior that could be associated with alcohol use among college students. This study of 473 female undergraduate students investigated the association between helicopter parenting and alcohol use through psychological needs satisfaction and self-control. Structural equation modeling suggested that helicopter parenting was associated with higher levels of alcohol use through lower levels of psychological needs satisfaction and self-control. The implications for college students, parents of college students, educators, and university administrators are also discussed.
We examined time perspective and risky behaviors among Nigerian young adults. Time perspective was defined as thoughts and emotions toward the past, the present, and the future. Self-report measures assessed orientations and positive and negative feelings about each time period. Risky behaviors were assessed with a composite instrument that included various experiences including getting into trouble with the police and running away from home. Findings indicated that participants (a) had more positive than negative feelings about time periods, (b) thought more frequently about the present and the future than the past, (c) emphasized the present and the future equally, and (d) perceived either the present and the future to be related to one another and separated from the past or that all time periods were related to one another in a linear pattern. Results also showed that risky behaviors were associated with positive and negative feelings toward the present in theoretically expected directions.
This study aimed to examine the psychometric characteristics of the Coparenting Relationship Scale when administered in fathers during pregnancy. During the first trimester of a partner’s pregnancy, 91 primiparous fathers completed the Coparenting Relationship Scale—Father’s Prenatal Version (CRS-FPV), and self-report measures of depressive and anxious symptoms, adult attachment, and partner’s relationship quality. The CRS-FPV revealed good internal consistency. Exploratory factor analysis revealed four factors: lack of coparenting support, coparenting conflict, coparenting disagreement, and coparenting undermining. Confirmatory factor analysis revealed a good model fit. Significant associations between the CRS-FPV and the original CRS subscales were found. Hypothesized associations between the CRS-FPV subscales and individual (depressive and anxious symptoms and adult attachment) and dyadic (partner’s relationship quality) constructs were also significant. The present study suggested that the CRS-FPV is a reliable multidimensional measure to assess coparenting in fathers during pregnancy.
This study aimed to examine the psychometric characteristics of the Coparenting Relationship Scale when administered in fathers during pregnancy. During the first trimester of a partner's pregnancy, 91 primiparous fathers completed the Coparenting Relationship Scale-Father's Prenatal Version (CRS-FPV), and self-report measures of depressive and anxious symptoms, adult attachment, and partner's relationship quality. The CRS-FPV revealed good internal consistency. Exploratory factor analysis revealed four factors: lack of coparenting support, coparenting conflict, coparenting disagreement, and coparenting undermining. Confirmatory factor analysis revealed a good model fit. Significant associations between the CRS-FPV and the original CRS subscales were found. Hypothesized associations between the CRS-FPV subscales and individual (depressive and anxious symptoms and adult attachment) and dyadic (partner's relationship quality) constructs were also significant. The present study suggested that the CRS-FPV is a reliable multidimensional measure to assess coparenting in fathers during pregnancy.
The study aims to broaden the knowledge of the relationship between personality and generativity. The study tests personality predictors of generativity on the basis of longitudinal data and includes not only personality traits but also self-concept variables while examining five of the seven components of generativity within the McAdams and de St. Aubin model. The sample consists of 150 participants from two longitudinal studies (63 men, 87 women; mean age 54.82). Generativity (concern, belief in the species, commitment, action, and narration measured by different methods) was assessed in the last wave of the study, personality traits (measured by NEO-FFI), and self-concept variables (Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Generalized Self-Efficacy Scale, Self-Concept Clarity Scale) were assessed in previous two stages of the study (at the age of 50 and 40 of the participants). Regression analysis was used to identify unique relationships between variables. From the longitudinal point of view, extraversion is the main predictive factor of later generativity, and openness to experience also contributes to the prediction of generativity. Self-concept variables are not as strong predictors of generativity as personality traits. The only association between variables of self-concept and generativity was found between self-concept clarity and belief in the species.
The development of values is an important task in emerging adulthood. Values are perceived as the result of a socializing process, yet little is known about the mechanisms which are key in the development of different values. The aim of this study is to contribute to values research by investigating whether the development of values depends on their chances to be realized in daily life. This question has not yet been adequately addressed in value research. Using the Capability Approach developed by Amartya Sen, this study tries to explain individual values by individual’s capabilities. Capabilities are seen as an important explaining variable by which the effect of different resources and conversion factors (education, recognition, self-efficacy, personality traits) on one’s values is mediated. Based on a questionnaire given to 26,444 Swiss men (age range 18–21 years), linear regression models were applied in order to test this mediating effect. The results show that higher capabilities have a statistically significant positive effect on the relevance of values in general and that capabilities partially mediate the effects of resources and conversion factors. Based on these results we conclude that the development of values is partially dependent on an individual’s perceptions of their realizability. Individuals tend to adapt their values to existing opportunities. This conclusion supports micro-theoretical approaches in values research as developed by Rokeach which explain value development as a product of an individual’s need to maintain a positive and consistent self-concept.
Stamm’s Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL) was utilized to examine compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction among three types of caregivers: formal (employed in a caregiver role), adult child (caring for an aging parent), and spouse/partner (caring for significant other). Data were collected from a sample of 87 adults who were currently (for 6 months or longer) providing care to an individual 65 years of age or older. The results revealed that formal caregivers had significantly higher compassion satisfaction scores compared to both adult child and spouse/partner caregivers. Additionally, results indicated that formal caregivers had significantly lower compassion fatigue scores than adult child caregivers. Although limited by the homogeneities in the sample of convenience, this study suggests that family caregivers could benefit from additional support in providing care. Furthermore, research should be conducted to examine factors that contribute to formal caregivers’ increased satisfaction and decreased fatigue in an effort to inform family caregivers.
Parental ethnic-racial socialization (PERS) represents distinct family cultural practices through which parents communicate important ethnic-racial information to their children. To date, there has been a dearth of quantitative research on how youths value these family practices. Drawing on a sample of ethnically-racially diverse emerging adults (N = 263), this study examines personal valuation of PERS (i.e., the perception of how valuable or important PERS practices have been in one’s life) and its relations to components of subjective well-being (satisfaction with life, positive affect, negative affect). Personal valuation of cultural socialization and promotion of mistrust emerged as significant moderators of the link between respective PERS frequency and negative affect. There was a significant positive association between frequency of cultural socialization and negative affect for those who endorsed relatively low personal valuation of cultural socialization. For individuals who indicated a relatively high level of personal valuation of promotion of mistrust messages, a greater frequency of these messages was associated with more negative affect. Results highlight the practical relevance of exploring youths’ subjective evaluations of these family cultural practices on subjective well-being.
The developmental transition from adolescence to adulthood, a period of time known as emerging adulthood, is marked by great personal growth and interpersonal maturation (Arnett, Emerging adulthood: The winding road from the late teens through the twenties, Oxford University Press, New York, 2004). Risk-taking behaviors are seen as a significant impediment to positive development during emerging adulthood. However, few researchers have examined how underlying cognitive processes contribute to the development and exacerbation of risk-taking behaviors at this time. In the current study, we examined the multivariate associations between early maladaptive schemas (disconnection and rejection, impaired autonomy, impaired limits, other-directedness, overvigilance, and inhibition) and expected involvement in five indices of risky behaviors for college women (n = 341) and college men (n = 143). Gender-specific patterns emerged in the prediction of different risk-behavior indices. Early maladaptive schemas accounted for 24% of the variance in men’s anticipated engagement in risky sexual behavior (vs. 9% of women’s). Early maladaptive schemas accounted for 20% of the variance in women’s anticipated engagement in both academic/work and illegal/aggressive risky behaviors (vs. 11 and 9% of men’s). In addition, unique schema domains differentially predicted variance in risky sexual, illicit drug use, heavy drinking, and aggressive/illegal risk behavior for each gender. Gender-sensitive and schema-specific prevention efforts for different types of risky behaviors, often present during emerging adulthood, may be warranted.
The present study has two objectives: first, to analyze whether the dimensions that make up emotional intelligence (attention, clarity, and repair) give rise to different profiles of university students, and secondly, to determine whether these different profiles are differentially associated with the parenting practices that students report with regard to their fathers and mothers. Results obtained indicate the existence of different profiles of college students. The profile that corresponds to adequate emotional skills presents a lower score in attention, but higher scores in clarity, and especially in mood repair. The other two profiles are inadequate, in the first case because a higher score in emotional attention is accompanied by low scores in mood repair, and in the second case because low scores are presented in all three dimensions. Likewise, we verified the existence of significant differences in the educational practices of parents, the adequate profile is characterized by greater use of parenting dimensions considered to be positive, and at the same time, lower scores on dimensions considered to be negative. One of the dysfunctional profiles is associated with higher scores in positive practices, and is also associated with higher scores in practices considered to produce a negative effect. The second dysfunctional profile is associated with higher scores on the dimensions considered to be negative and lower scores on positive dimensions.