Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 1145–1161 | Cite as

Self-Construal and Psychological Wellbeing in Scottish and Italian Young Adults

  • Elaine Duncan
  • Veronica Ornaghi
  • Ilaria GrazzaniEmail author
Research Paper


The present study investigated the role of self-construal in explaining psychological wellbeing in two European countries. Eight hundred and fifteen Italian and Scottish students completed measures of life-satisfaction, optimism, subjective happiness and a scale measuring interdependent and/or independent self-construal. We obtained three main findings. First of all, scores on the scales of psychological wellbeing were positively associated with scores on the independent scale and independence was found to be the factor that best explained variance in psychological wellbeing. Second, and contrary to our prediction, the Italian group had significantly higher scores for the independence scale than Scots. Third, gender was found to have a significant effect with regard to interdependence of self, life satisfaction, and optimism.


Psychological wellbeing Happiness Self-construal Culture 



This research was supported by a grant from F.A.R.—2007 (University of Milano-Bicocca) to Prof. Ilaria Grazzani. We wish to thank Dr. Clare O’Sullivan for the English revision of the paper, and Dr. Alessandro Pepe for his assistance with the statistical analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elaine Duncan
    • 1
  • Veronica Ornaghi
    • 2
  • Ilaria Grazzani
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Allied Health Sciences, School of Health and Life ScienceGlasgow Caledonian UniversityGlasgowScotland
  2. 2.Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Human Sciences R. MassaUniversità degli Studi di Milano-BicoccaMilanItaly
  3. 3.Facoltà di Scienze della FormazioneUniversità degli Studi di Milano BicoccaMilanItaly

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