Ghana Medical Journal

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Control perceptions and control appraisal: Relation to measures of subjective well-being

FE Owusu-Ansah


Objectives: To investigate the relationship between control variables and measures of subjective wellbeing. The primary question asked was “who is happy and well, and why?”

Design: A questionnaire survey and the data was analyzed by examining bivariate relationships between variables of interest.

Participants: Two hundred and fifty six (256) adults within the age range of 18-88 years. They were mainly undergraduate psychology students from South-Eastern part of the United States and solicited in a manner consistent with the Institutional Review Board of the Florida State University. Elderly persons from community groups (e.g. churches, social organizations) were solicited through their appropriate leaders and announcements. Results: The mean age of the participants was 32 years. Findings indicated significant relationship between control measures, indices of wellbeing, and individual’s satisfaction with the quality of their lives. Significant correlations were between 0.177 and 0.469 at the 0.01 level (2-tailed). Having control in the areas of social support,  self-acceptance, positive relationships, purpose in life, and personal growth were judged important.

Conclusion: The findings of this study suggest that essential ‘ingredients’ for psychological and subjective well-being include enjoyment of good health, some financial stability, meaningful ties with others, a sense of purpose and direction in life, ability to manage complex life demands, a healthy self-acceptance and commitment to personal development. Implications for clinical utility and future research are discussed
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