Activation, Avoidance, and Response-Contingent Positive Reinforcement Predict Subjective Wellbeing
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© 2017 Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature We aimed to clarify whether relationships of behavioural activation, avoidance, and response-contingent positive reinforcement with subjective wellbeing components supported a behavioural subjective wellbeing model. We used a correlational, cross-sectional design, and collected data online from a convenience and snowball sample of 224 participants aged 18–72 years using an anonymous survey. We conducted hierarchical multiple regression analyses and structural equation modelling. Behavioural activation positively predicted significant unique variance in (a) positive affect, b = 0.44, 99.2% CI [0.30, 0.58] , p < 0.001, (Formula presented.) = 0.27, and (b) satisfaction with life, b = 0.19, 99.2% CI [0.07, 0.31], p < 0.001, (Formula presented.) = 0.08. Behavioural activation negatively predicted significant unique negative affect variance, b = - 0.17, 99.2% CI [- 0.30, - 0.03], p = 0.001, (Formula presented.) = 0.05. Avoidance positively predicted significant negative affect variance, b = 0.45, 99.2% CI [0.31, 0.58] , p < 0.001, (Formula presented.) = 0.27. Most other predictors had non-significant effects when behavioural variables were added to our models. Response-contingent positive reinforcement mediated relationships of behavioural activation with positive affect, negative affect, and satisfaction with life. Our results suggest behavioural variables may explain some affect variance often attributed to other predictors. The pattern of relationships we found supports a behavioural subjective wellbeing model focussed on response-contingent positive reinforcement. Our findings suggest these relationships may not be unique to depressed populations. Our results do not indicate causality, but suggest testing causality is warranted in the future.
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