Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 443–453 | Cite as

Coping Strategies as Mediating Variables Between Self-serving Attributional Bias and Subjective Well-Being

  • Pilar SanjuánEmail author
  • Alejandro Magallares
Research Paper


Self-serving attributional bias (SSAB) is defined as the tendency to attribute positive situations to internal, stable and global causes, and negative situations to external, unstable and specific causes. SSAB, like other manifestations of the self-enhancement motive, is aimed at protecting self-esteem, and therefore expected to be associated with well-being. Furthermore, given the features of this bias, this possible positive association between SSAB and well-being could be mediated by coping strategies. In this study, we wanted to analyze the relationships among SSAB, coping strategies and subjective well-being. Two hundred and five individuals (90 male and 115 female, mean age = 35.99, ranging from 22 to 50) participated voluntarily in this study. Path analysis showed that SSAB had an indirect effect on life satisfaction (the cognitive component of subjective well-being) through the affect balance (the emotional component of subjective well-being). In turn, SSAB had both a direct and an indirect effect on affect balance. The indirect effect was through the use of problem solving and positive cognitive restructuring coping strategies as well as the non-use of avoidant ones. These results suggest that well-being promotion programs should aim at encouraging the use of problem solving and positive cognitive restructuring coping strategies, as well as promoting healthy attributional styles.


Self-serving attributional bias Positive attributions Affect balance Life satisfaction Subjective well-being Problem solving coping Positive cognitive restructuring coping Avoidant coping 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversidad Nacional de Educación a DistanciaMadridSpain
  2. 2.Facultad de PsicologíaUniversidad Nacional de Educación a DistanciaMadridSpain

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