Psychological and Environmental Correlates of Well-being Among Undergraduate University Students
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This study explored whether the university environment provides similar well-being enhancing elements to those that have been found in the workplace and school contexts. Whether psychological inflexibility accounts for well-being over and above personality and environmental influences was also explored. A representative sample of 163 undergraduate university students in an Australian university completed an online survey measuring the key constructs. Environmental influences assessed included financial resources, physical security, opportunity to use new skills, externally generated goals, variety, environmental clarity, interpersonal contact, and valued social position. Hierarchical multiple linear regression analyses were then conducted to test for predictors of three domains of subjective well-being: positive affect, negative affect, and life satisfaction. The results suggested that university context contributes significantly to undergraduate students’ well-being by providing a valued social role, externally generated goals, and variety. Students’ perception of their physical security was also an important influence on their well-being. These results are consistent with the literature on well-being and employment. Neuroticism significantly predicted negative affect, while psychological inflexibility accounted for unique variance in life satisfaction and negative affect even when personality and environmental influences were taken into account. The implications of these findings for enhancing undergraduate university students’ well-being are discussed.
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