Advertisement

Social Indicators Research

, 89:523 | Cite as

Initiating Personal Growth: The Role of Recognition and Life Satisfaction on the Development of College Students

  • Celinda R. Stevic
  • Rose Marie WardEmail author
Article

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the mediating role of life satisfaction between positive recognition and levels of personal growth initiative in a collegiate setting. The design of the research study utilized a quantitative research method. A brief questionnaire assessed 204 undergraduate students at a mid-sized university. The average age of the participants was 19 years old and the predominant race was Caucasian. Approximately the same number of male and female participants completed the survey. Each participant answered questions that measured perceived life satisfaction, personal growth initiative and the amount of recognition and praise received from family and overall within a typical college setting. Structural Equation Modeling was used to examine the relationship between the variables. The hypothesized mediational model had adequate fit. Positive recognition and personal growth initiative were mediated by life satisfaction χ2 (n = 204, 101) = 259.20, CFI = .88, TLI = .86. Results from this study hope to show that life satisfaction builds the relationship between receiving recognition and an undergraduate’s involvement in changing and developing as an individual. In addition, the study hopes to use the emerging field of Positive Psychology to identify applications of life satisfaction, personal growth initiative and recognition to assist with the optimal functioning of college students and the overall educational institution.

Keywords

Life satisfaction Positive Psychology College students Recognition Personal growth 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was funded by the Dean Scholar Award at Miami University.

References

  1. Andrews, F. M., & Withey, S. B. (1976). Social indicators of well-being: Americans’ perceptions of life quality. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  2. Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychology research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1173–1182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Frazier, P. A., Tix, A. P., & Barron, K. E. (2004). Testing moderator and mediator effects in counseling psychology. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 51, 115–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fredrickson, B. L., & Joiner, T. (2002). Positive emotions trigger upward spirals toward emotional well-being. Psychological Science, 13(2), 172–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Gable, S. L., & Haidt, J. (2005). What (and why) is positive psychology? Review of General Psychology, 9(2), 103–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hu, L. T., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indices in covariance structure analyses: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6, 1–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Huebner, E. S. (1994). Preliminary development and validation of a multidimensional life scale for children. Psychological Assessment, 6, 149–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Muthen. L. K., & Muthen, B. O. (1998–2001). Mplus user’s guide (2nd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Muthen & Muthen.Google Scholar
  9. Rath, T., & Clifton, D. O. (2004). How full is your bucket?: Positive strategies for work and life. New York: Gallup Press.Google Scholar
  10. Robitscheck, C. (1998). Personal growth initiative: The construct and its measure. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 30, 183–198.Google Scholar
  11. Seligman, M. (2002). Authentic happiness: Using the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting fulfillment. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  12. Seligman, M. E. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55, 5–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Sheldon, K. M., & King, L. (2001). Why positive psychology is necessary. American Psychologist, 56(3), 216–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Zullig, K. J., Huebner, E. S., Gilman, R., Patton, J., & Murray, K. A. (2005). Validation of the Brief Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale (BMSLSS) among college students. American Journal of Health Behavior, 29, 206–214.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.106 Phillips HallMiami UniversityOxfordUSA

Personalised recommendations