Do life goals mediate the link between personality traits and mental well-being?

Volume 4 - Issue 1
Merja Hietalahti Johanna Rantanen Katja Kokko
Pages: 72-89 Download Count : 606 View Count: 638 Facebook Share on Google+ Save to Zotero Save to Mendeley

Abstract:


The present study examined, first, the connections between life goals and different dimensions of mental well-being, and, second, life goals as mediators in the previously established relation between personality traits and mental well-being. The data were drawn from 42- and 50-year-old participants (n = 242) in the Jyväskylä Longitudinal Study of Personality and Social Development. Regression analysis revealed that, in women, leisure-related goals (including items on hobbies, relationships and sexuality) were positively linked to emotional, psychological, and social well-being. In men, performance-related goals (mental performance, family’s welfare, work and economic welfare) positively predicted psychological and social well-being, and leisure-related goals social well-being. Hierarchical regression analysis showed that, in women, leisure-related goals were a partial mediator in the links from neuroticism and extraversion to emotional well-being: low neuroticism and high extraversion were positively associated with leisure-related goals, which in turn were positively related to emotional well-being. In men, performance-related goals were a partial mediator between extraversion and psychological well-being: extraversion was positively linked to performance-related goals, which was further positively related to psychological well-being. In conclusion, the present results indicate, first, that life goals are linked to different dimensions of mental well-being; second, that life goals partially mediate the associations between personality traits and mental well-being; and, third, that some gender differences exist in the relations between personality traits, life goals, and mental well-being.

Keywords

  • Personality traits
  • life goals
  • emotional well-being
  • psychological well-being
  • social well-being
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