Psychological strengths and subjective well-being in South African white students
Jackson, Leon T.B.
Van de Vijver, Fons J.R.
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This study investigated the role of individual resources, notably self-efficacy, gratitude, and hope, in subjective well-being of white dormitory students at a historically white institution of higher learning. Using a convenience sample of white students (N = 227), we tested the role of generalised self-efficacy, gratitude, and hope as indicators of a latent factor, labelled personal resources, in a structural equation model with subjective well-being as the latent output variable, measured by self-esteem and satisfaction with life. Path analyses indicated a reasonable fit between the data and our hypothesised theoretical model which proposed positive relations between levels of generalised self-efficacy, gratitude, dispositional hope, self-esteem and satisfaction with life. White students were psychologically doing well, considering above-midpoint levels obtained for levels of generalised self-efficacy, gratitude, dispositional hope, and satisfaction with life However, scores obtained for self-esteem and adult dispositional hope were below the mid-point and neutral respectively, indicating that White students do not agree that they experience high levels of these two psychological strengths. White female students experienced higher levels of hope, gratitude, and life satisfaction, while no significant gender differences were found for generalised self-efficacy and self-esteem. The results of this study highlight the potential for using psychological strengths to promote well-being in racially diverse students.