Subjective well-being mediates the effects of resilience and mastery on depression and anxiety in a large community sample of young and middle-aged adults

Richard Burns, Kaarin Anstey, Timothy Windsor

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    53 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objective: The tripartite model of depression and anxiety hypothesizes that positive and negative affect is related to depression and anxiety. However, the specific role of cognitive or psychological well-being constructs like resilience and mastery within a tripartite context and throughout adulthood is unclear. Method: Data was drawn from two longitudinal population-based cohorts, aged 20-24 and 40-44 based in Canberra, Australia (N == 3989). We sought to determine the interrelatedness of two affective measures of subjective well-being, positive and negative affect, with two cognitive measures of psychological well-being, resilience and mastery. We then tested their independent effects on depression and anxiety, and hypothesized, following the tripartite model, that subjective well-being would mediate the effects of the psychological well-being variables on mental health and that the psychological well-being variables would be more strongly related to positive subjective well-being. Results: Principal axis factoring delineated four affective and cognitive dimensions of well-being comprising positive and negative affect, resilience and mastery. Structural equation models identified the psychological well-being variables as significantly related to subjective well-being, which fully mediated the effects of resilience and partially mediated the effect of mastery on depression and anxiety. These findings were consistent throughout both young and middle adulthood. Conclusions: Psychological well-being components are significant predictors of subjective well-being affect states that increase vulnerability to depression and anxiety.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)240-248
    Number of pages9
    JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
    Volume45
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011

    Keywords

    • anxiety
    • depression
    • mental health
    • psychological resilience

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