Social Indicators Research

, Volume 121, Issue 3, pp 815–832 | Cite as

Exploring a Positive SWB Model in a Sample of University Students in South Africa

  • Cara S. JonkerEmail author
  • Eileen Koekemoer
  • Jan Alewyn Nel


Positive affect, optimism, self-efficacy, sense of coherence (SOC), satisfaction with life and emotional intelligence are all positive subjective well-being (SWB) constructs. However, research regarding of what a positive SWB model consists of and the overlap and communalities between these constructs are lacking. This article reports on the exploration of a positive SWB model in a sample of university students (N = 285) via means of Pearson-product correlations and structural equation modeling. Constructs in the model included emotional intelligence, positive affect, optimism, SOC (comprehensibility), and life satisfaction. Results indicated that all the constructs correlated, except for emotion utilisation and emotion regulation with comprehensibility and life satisfaction The theorised model was tested with two higher-order factors, namely cognitive and affective (SWB). An alternative model showed that some cognitive aspects correlated better with affective aspects, although two higher-order factors were still extracted. They were labelled external mastery and internal mastery.


Positive psychology Subjective well-being Emotional intelligence Positive affect Optimism Sense of coherence Life satisfaction University students 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cara S. Jonker
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eileen Koekemoer
    • 1
  • Jan Alewyn Nel
    • 1
  1. 1.North-West University, WorkwellPotchefstroomSouth Africa

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