Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

School Psychology

Abstract

Research related to eudaimonic or psychological well-being (PWB) has relied heavily upon the Scales of Psychological Well-Being (SPWB), a rationally developed multidimensional measure intended to assess the extent to which individuals are achieving their optimal potential over the lifespan. However, questions remain regarding the proposed dimensional structure of the SPWB, as well as the extent to which the measure is situated within a specific, Eurocentric cultural context. This study sought to explore the factor structure of the 42-item version of the SPWB when combined with items measuring constructs relevant to African Americans, including communalism, spirituality/religiosity, and critical consciousness. Utilizing a sample of 159 African American college students, analyses conducted via exploratory factor analysis did not provide support for the proposed six-factor structure of the SPWB, either in isolation or when combined with items from culturally specific constructs. Further, distinct factors related to spirituality and communalism emerged, suggesting these constructs are not adequately accounted for within the SPWB, although their relationship to a presumed higher order well-being factor remains unclear. Finally, communalism emerged as a multidimensional construct for this sample, in contrast to its frequent treatment as a unidimensional construct in the literature. These results, as well as the observed presence of method factors related to item wording are discussed, along with limitations of the study and implications for future research and practice.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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