Sex Roles

, Volume 55, Issue 11–12, pp 801–815 | Cite as

Multiple Roles and Well-being: Sociodemographic and Psychological Moderators

Original Article


Research on multiple roles has supported the enhancement hypothesis, but it is unclear if benefits of multiple role involvement exist across all segments of the population. This study was designed to examine whether the role enhancement hypothesis suits both men and women with varied education levels. A further goal was to determine if perceived control moderates associations between multiple role involvement and well-being. This sample included 2,634 individuals from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) survey who occupied up to eight roles each. Psychological well-being was measured in six dimensions (autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relations with others, purpose in life, and self-acceptance); positive and negative affect were also measured. Results of hierarchical regression analyses supported the role enhancement hypothesis, as greater role involvement was associated with greater well-being; however, the findings suggest that it was only well educated women with multiple roles who showed higher levels of autonomy. Perceived control was also found to moderate some of the obtained linkages.


Multiple roles Well-being Gender Education Control 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christina J. Chrouser Ahrens
    • 1
  • Carol D. Ryff
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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