Ryff (1989) developed a multidimensional model of well-being called psychological well-being, which includes 6 dimensions: positive relations with others, environmental mastery, self-acceptance, autonomy, personal growth, and purpose in life (see Table 1 for definitions). These six dimensions define Ryff’s conceptualization of psychological well-being both theoretically and operationally, and they identify what promotes effective mastery of life and emotional and physical health (Ryff, 1989, Ryff, 1995). For example, among Swedish adolescents, psychological well-being, and especially the self-acceptance and environmental mastery dimensions, strongly relate to high levels of positive affect and life satisfaction (Garcia, 2011, 2012; Garcia & Archer, 2012; Garcia & Siddiqui, 2009b).
|Self-acceptance||Emphasis on acceptance of the self and of one’s past life.|
|Positive relations with others||Having strong feelings of empathy and affection for all human beings and as being capable of greater love, deeper friendship, and more complete identification with others and warm relating to others.|
|Autonomy||Expressions of internal locus of evaluation, thus not looking to others for approval but evaluating oneself by personal standards.|
|Environmental mastery||The individual’s ability to choose or create environments suitable to his or her psychic conditions.|
|Purpose in life||Having goals, intentions, and a sense of direction, all of which contribute to the feeling that life is meaningful.|
|Personal growth||Emphasis to continued growth and the confronting of new challenges or tasks at different periods of life.|
By employing the affective profiles model, researchers have found that self-fulfilling adolescents report higher levels on several of the psychological well-being dimensions. For example, Garcia & Siddiqui (2009b) found that environmental mastery was higher among self-fulfilling individuals as compared to all other profiles (see also Kjellet al., 2013b). An important observation is also that high and low affective groups differed from each other in psychological well-being dimensions associated to agentic values (e.g., high affectives reported higher personal growth than low affectives) not to those dimensions associated to communal values (i.e., positive relations with others). Purpose in life and personal growth are, indeed, distinctive to the other psychological well-being dimensions (Ryff & Singer, 1998; Ryff & Keyes, 1995)— that is, the pursuit of one’s true potential or one’s great life questions may at times not bring positive emotions and might distort the balance or status quo in one’s life. In most of the dimensions, however, the high and low affective individuals showed higher levels than the self-destructive.
Harmony in life
Harmony in life has been suggested as a complement to satisfaction with life (Kjell et al., 2013a). When measuring life satisfaction, individuals are asked to evaluate if their life is according to their expectations or an ideal (Diener, 1984; Diener et al., 1985). In this context, life satisfaction is seen as the cognitive part of happiness, while affect (i.e., positive and negative affect) is seen as the affective part. It has been argued that this evaluation does not by itself represent the full breadth of individuals’ cognitive well-being (Kjell, 2011). The assessment of harmony, in contrast, encourages individuals to assess their global, subjective perception of harmony in life; which includes a global and overall assessment of whether one’s life involve balance, mindful non-judgemental acceptance, fitting in and being attuned with one’s life. When comparing the two concepts using quantitative semantics on words that participants have generated to each term, reveals that the concept of satisfaction is significantly more related to achievement, education, work, money and car; whilst the concept of harmony is significantly more related to balance, peace, cooperation, agreement and meditation (Kjell et al., 2013a). Harmony and life satisfaction, as most well-being constructs, correlate with each other; but they are also distinct, the sense of a harmonious life explains unique variance in stress and depression (Kjell et al., 2013a). Furthermore, harmony, compared to life satisfaction, is more strongly related to the psychological well-being dimensions; meanwhile life satisfaction relates more strongly to happiness (Kjell et al., 2013b).
Although we have detailed a difference between harmony and life satisfaction, we expect similar results using harmony in life as a construct of cognitive well-being. In other words, individuals with a self-fulfilling profile are hypothesised to report higher levels of harmony in life than the other profiles. Further, as harmony in life and psychological well-being have been found to be particularly related, it is important to further investigate this. In particular, we expected harmony to be related with self-acceptance and environmental mastery among profiles. Although, low affective individuals might “go their own way” (i.e., involving high levels of autonomy or agentic values) when approaching pleasantness; their tendency to avoid pain and meaningful experiences (Garcia et al., 2010) is expected to lower other agentic dimensions of psychological well-being: personal growth and purpose in life. This in turn is expected to relate to a lower sense of a harmony in life.
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