Review Articles

A meta-analytic investigation of the relationship between basic psychological need satisfaction and affect

Peter J. Stanley, Nicola, Wendy

Journal of Positive School Psychology , Vol. 5 No. 1 (2021), 13 April 2021, Page 1-16

Self Determination Theory proposes that psychological needs satisfaction is associated with high positive affect and low negative affect. The present study consolidated effect sizes from previous research on the relationship of satisfaction of autonomy, competence and relatedness needs with positive affect and negative affect, and identified moderators of the relationships. The basic need satisfaction and positive affect meta-analyses included 16 samples for autonomy, 16 for competence, and 16 for relatedness, with 7335, 6832, and 6710 participants, respectively. Across studies, higher positive affect was significantly associated with greater autonomy satisfaction (r=.39), competence satisfaction (r=.45), and relatedness satisfaction (r=.39). The basic need satisfaction and negative affect meta-analyses included 11 samples for autonomy, 13 for competence, and 11 for relatedness, with 5114 participants, 5481 participants, and 5114 participants, respectively. Across studies, lower negative affect was significantly associated with greater autonomy satisfaction (r=-.30), competence satisfaction (r=-.33), and relatedness satisfaction (r=-.30). Moderator analyses found that gender composition, sample type, and basic need satisfaction measure were related to the strength of associations.

Research Articles

Loneliness is a serious risk factor for healthy development and flourishing. Although loneliness has been revealed to play an important role in psychological health and well-being, little is known about moderating and mitigating mechanisms underlying this association, especially during adverse experiences (e.g., COVID-19 pandemic). The current study purposed to explore whether subjective vitality mediated the association of loneliness with psychological adjustment and whether college belongingness moderated the mediating effect of subjective vitality on students’ adjustment in the context of loneliness. The study sample comprised 333 undergraduate students (69% female) from a public university in Turkey. They ranged in age between 19 and 41 years (M= 21.94, SD= 4.15). Findings from mediation analysis revealed that loneliness had a significant predictive effect on subjective vitality and psychological adjustment challenges. Subjective vitality also mediated the effect of loneliness on the psychological adjustment of college students. Further, college belongingness moderated the mediating effect of subjective vitality on adjustment and had a protective effect on the association between loneliness and subjective vitality in college students. These results indicate that subjective vitality and college belongingness are important mechanisms that may help develop prevention and intervention strategies to foster students’ psychological health and well-being in university settings.

High levels of anxiety and psychological well-being in college students: A dual factor model of mental health approach

Katherine Carver, Hajar Ismail, Christopher Reed, Justin Hayes, Haifa Alsaif, Marisa Villanueva, Sarah Sass

Journal of Positive School Psychology , Vol. 5 No. 1 (2021), 13 April 2021, Page 32-41

Anxiety disorders are prevalent among college students and contribute to problems in social and academic functioning. The primary focus in the anxiety literature has been on symptoms and deficits in functioning rather than psychological well-being. The present study investigated the extent to which high levels of anxiety co-occurred with self-reported psychological well-being using a dual-factor model of mental health approach. Participants (n = 100) were categorized into two groups (high anxiety crossed with low and high life satisfaction), and groups were compared on several psychological well-being indicators. Supporting a dual-factor approach, students reporting high levels of anxiety and life satisfaction reported higher levels of hope, grit, gratitude, self-focused positive rumination, and savoring of positive emotions than students reporting high levels of anxiety and low levels of life satisfaction. Groups did not differ in emotion-focused positive rumination or in dampening of positive emotion. These results highlight well-being heterogeneity within individuals reporting high levels of anxiety, with implications for treatment and prevention efforts.

Bored with school! Bored with life? Well-being characteristics associated with a school boredom mindset

Michael Furlong, Douglas C. Smith, Tina Springer, Erin Dowdy

Journal of Positive School Psychology , Vol. 5 No. 1 (2021), 13 April 2021, Page 42-64

Students’ experiences of boredom at school are receiving increased research attention. Most inquiries to date have focused on how often students experience boredom in classroom situations and in specific subject areas. Despite its frequency, limited research efforts have explored how students’ boredom experiences might inform positive education initiatives. This paper examines students’ school boredom experiences from a positive education lens through which school mental health professionals can evaluate students’ school boredom experiences systematically. We introduce the School Boredom Mindset (SBM) concept that identifies a subset of high-risk students expressing unfavorable school attitudes. A preliminary analysis of 2,331 California secondary (Grades 7-12) students’ responses on well-being indicators explored the SBM’s viability. The findings show that students with the strongest SBM reported substantially lower well-being than their peers. The discussion offers suggestions for future research needed to evaluate the SBM concept’s meaning and the value of its contribution to positive education. While this research moves forward, we provide practitioners with resources to better evaluate students’ boring feelings at school and consider its meaning within the broader effort of fostering thriving well-being

Identifying factors that influence well-being are fruitful for improving the knowledge held about the correlates and predictors of well-being in both practice and theory. This research for the first time aimed to investigate whether irrational happiness beliefs, a newly presented construct, contribute to the affective components of subjective well-being over time. The sample included 103 undergraduate students (88 females and 15 males) whose ages varied from 18 to 29 years (M = 19.39 ±1.62). Participants completed measures of irrational happiness beliefs, positive affect, and negative affect both at Time 1 and Time 2 over three months apart. The findings showed that irrational happiness beliefs were significantly negatively related to positive affect only at Time 1. However, the research failed to provide evidence regarding the value of irrational happiness beliefs in predicting positive and negative affect over time. The results suggest that the impact of irrational happiness beliefs upon well-being may occur momentarily not over time. Implications and limitations of the findings are discussed and directions for future studies are provided.