Current Psychology

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 260–271 | Cite as

Chinese Students’ Satisfaction with Life Relative to Psychological Capital and Mediated by Purpose in Life

  • Rongwei ZhangEmail author
  • Béatrice Marianne Ewalds-Kvist
  • Dan LiEmail author
  • Jun Jiang


Altogether 700 college students aged 18 to 24 years (M = 20.81, SD = 1.29) originating from six universities in China participated in this study. The current aim was to find out whether a student’s sense of purpose in life mediated the relationship between his/her psychological capital (PsyCap) comprising hope, generalized self-efficacy, resilience, optimism (HERO; Luthans and Youssef-Morgan. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 4, 339–366, 2017) and satisfaction with life. Furthermore, it was asked which factor contributes more to students’ satisfaction with life, PsyCap or purpose in life? Thus, apprentices completed the Adult Dispositional Hope Scale (Snyder et al. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60(4), 570–585, 1991), General Self-Efficacy Scale (Schwarzer and Jerusalem. Causal and Control Beliefs, 1, 35–37, 1995), Resilience Scale (Wagnild and Young. Journal of Nursing Measurement, 1(2), 165–17847, 1993), Life Orientation Test-Revised (Scheier et al. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67(6), 1063–1078, 1994) along with the completion of the Purpose in Life Test (Crumbaugh and Maholick. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 20(2), 200–207, 1964) and Satisfaction with life scale (Diener et al. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49(1), 71–75, 1985). The results disclosed grade differences in PsyCap elements. Moreover, positive and significant correlations between any of two variables were found, thus allowing for further analysis. Structural equation modeling revealed that students’ satisfaction with life was directly predicted by PsyCap per se as well as indirectly projected by means of the construct purpose in life. Based on the present assessment, PsyCap contributed more to students’ satisfaction with life than their experienced purpose in life.


Hope Orientation Purpose Resilience Satisfaction Self-efficacy 



This study was supported by funds from Humanities and Social Sciences Key Research Bases under the Chinese Ministry of Education (16JJD840001) and Research Project of Fujian Young & Middle-aged Teachers’ Education (JAS160900).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained in written from all individual participants included in the study. The students volunteered for partaking in the research and knew that they could end their participation at any time without consequences. The students were contingent upon parental permission and knew that the data were used only for research purpose and that the completed forms were confidential. Furthermore, the permission for conducting this study was issued by Fujian Polytechnic of Information Technology of Social Sciences in the Education Department of Fujian Province P.R. China.

Ethical Approval

The ethical approval was obtained from the Ethics Committee of Fujian Polytechnic of Information Technology of Social Sciences (Code JAS160900).

Conflict of Interest

All Authors declare there is no potential conflict of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyShanghai Normal UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.School of MaxismFujian Polytechnic of Information TechnologyFuzhouChina
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TurkuÅboFinland

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