Adaptability, Social Support, and Psychological Wellbeing Among Malaysian Adults

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Tan, K. K., Holliman, A. J., Waldeck, D. Baxodirovna


Malaysian adults are regularly exposed to a wide variety of complex stressors (exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic): these stressors, without sufficient protective resources, threaten to negatively impact upon psychological wellbeing. Recent literature has shown that personal resources (e.g., one’s adaptability) and situational resources (e.g., one’s social support) are associated with psychological wellbeing; however, limited research has examined the unique contribution of these resources to psychological wellbeing among collectivist cultures (e.g., Malaysian adults). Here, a sample of 136 Malaysian adults completed a survey measuring their adaptability and social support as well as different components of psychological wellbeing (i.e., flourishing, psychological distress, and life satisfaction). We found that adaptability and social support contribute significantly, and independently, to psychological wellbeing (all measures) among Malaysian adults, with social support being the stronger predictor in each case. Further, no significant interaction effects between adaptability and social support on psychological wellbeing were observed. The findings corroborate a developing literature suggesting that adaptability and social support may be targeted in efforts to enhance psychological wellbeing but also indicate that among Malaysian adults of a collectivist culture, social support may be more salient.

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