Skip to main content

The Mediating Role of Self-Esteem in the Relationship Between Optimism and Subjective Well-Being

Abstract

The relationship between self-esteem and well-being has been documented well. Nevertheless, the relationships between self-esteem, optimism, and well-being were reported in a limited number of studies. In the current research, thus, the mediating role of self-esteem in the relationship between optimism and subjective well-being is investigated in high school and college students. Three hundred and eighty-four students 229 (55.2%) of whom were high school students and 155 (44.8%) were college students participated in the study. Two hundred and fifty-two of them were female (65.6%) and 132 (34.6%) of them were male with an average age of 18.57, and SD = 3.51. The statistical significance of mediating effect of the tested model was examined through an approach based on Ordinary Least Squares Regression and Bootstrap method. The findings of the study yielded that self-esteem significantly mediated the relationship between optimism and subjective well-being.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

References

  1. Aspinwall, L. G., & Taylor, S. E. (1992). Modeling cognitive adaptation: A longitudinal investigation of the impact of individual differences and coping on college adjustment and performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63(6), 989–1003.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Aydın, G., & Tezer, E. (1991). The relationship between optimism, health problems and academic success [İyimserlik, sağlık sorunları ve akademik başarı ilişkisi]. Psikoloji Dergisi, 7, 2–9.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Bastianello, M. R., Pacico, J. C., & Hutz, C. S. (2014). Optimism, self-esteem and personality: Adaptation and validation of the Brazilian version of the revised life orientation test (LOT-R). Psico-USF, 19(3), 523–531.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Brown, J. D., & Marshall, M. A. (2006). The three faces of self-esteem. In M. H. Kernis (Ed.), Self-esteem Issues and answers: A sourcebook of current perspectives (pp. 4–9). New York: Psychology Press.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Caprara, G. V., Fagnani, C., Alessandri, G., Steca, P., Gigantesco, A., Sforza, L. L. C., & Stazi, M. A. (2009). Human optimal functioning: The genetics of positive orientation towards self, life, and the future. Behavior Genetics, 39(3), 277–284.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (2014). Dispositional optimism. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 18(6), 293–299. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2014.02.003.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  7. Carver, C. S., Scheier, M. F., & Segerstrom, S. C. (2010). Optimism. Clinical Psychology Review, 30(7), 879–889.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Çevik, N. (2010). Some variables that predict subjective well-being of high school students [Lise öğrencilerinin öznel iyi oluşlarını yordayan bazı değişkenler]. (Unpublished master thesis), Gazi Üniversitesi, Ankara, Turkey.

  9. Cha, K. H. (2003). Subjective well-being among college students. In D. C. Shin, C. P. Rutkowski, & C. M. Park (Eds.), The Quality of Life in Korea: Comparative and dynamic perspectives (pp. 455–477). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publisher.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  10. Chang, E. C., & Sanna, L. J. (2001). Optimism, pessimism, and positive and negative affectivity in middle-aged adults: a test of a cognitive—affective model of psychological adjustment. Psychology and Aging, 16, 524–531.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Chen, X., & Page, A. (2016). Stability and instability of subjective well-being in the transition from adolescence to young adulthood: longitudinal evidence from 20991 Young Australians. PLoS One, 11(5), e0156399. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0156399.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  12. Cohen, L. M., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2007). Research methods in education (6th ed.). New York: Taylor & Francis.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  13. Çuhadaroğlu, F. (1986). Self-esteem in adolescents [Adolesanlarda benlik saygısı]. (Unpublished doctoral thesis), Hacettepe Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Ankara, Turkey.

  14. Di Fabio, A., & Bucci, O. (2015). Affective profiles in Italian high school students: life satisfaction, psychological well-being, self-esteem, and optimism. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1–6. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01310.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Diener, E. (1984). Subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 95(3), 542–575. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.95.3.542.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. Diener, E. (2000). Subjective well-being: the science of happiness and a proposal for a national index. American Psychologist, 55(1), 34–43. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.34.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. Diener, E. (2009). Subjective well-being. In E. Diener (Ed.), The Science of Well-Being: The Collected Works of Ed Diener, Social Indicators Research Series (pp. 11–48). New York: Springer.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  18. Diener, E., & Chan, M. Y. (2011). Happy people live longer: Subjective well-being contributes to health and longevity. Applied Psychology. Health and Well-Being, 3, 1–43. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1758-0854.2010.01045.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Diener, M. L., & Diener McGavran, M. B. (2008). What makes people happy?: A developmental approach to the literature on family relationships and well-being. In M. Eid & R. J. Larsen (Eds.), The science of subjective well-being (pp. 347–375). New York: The Guilford Press.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49(1), 71–75.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Lucas, R. E., & Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective well-being: three decades of progress. Psychological Bulletin, 125(2), 276–302. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.125.2.276.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Diener, E., Lucas, R. E., & Oishi, S. (2002). Subjective well-being: the science of happiness and life satisfaction. In C. R. Snyder & S. J. Lopez (Eds.), The handbook of positive psychology (pp. 63–73). New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Doğan, T., & Eryılmaz, A. (2013). An examination of the relationships between two-dimensional self-esteem and subjective well-being [İki boyutlu benlik saygısı ve öznel iyi oluş arasındaki ilişkilerin incelenmesi]. Pamukkale Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 33(1), 107–117.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Eryılmaz, A. (2011). Investigation of the relationship between subjective well-being and positive expectation for future [Ergen öznel iyi oluşu ile olumlu gelecek beklentisi arasındaki ilişkinin incelenmesi]. Düşünen Adam: Journal of Psychiatry & Neurological Sciences, 24(3), 209–215. https://doi.org/10.5350/DAJPN2011240306.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Eryılmaz, A., & Atak, H. (2011). The relationship between adolescents’ subjective well-being and positive expectations towards future [Ergen öznel iyi oluşunun özsaygı ve iyimserlik eğilimi ile ilişkisinin incelenmesi]. Elektronik Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi, 10(37), 170–181.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Gaspar, T., Rebelo, A., Mendonça, I., Albergaria, F., & Gaspar-Matos, M. (2014). Subjective wellbeing and school failure in children and adolescents: influence of psychosocial factors. International Journal of Development Research, 4(11), 2194–2199.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Guindon, M. (2010). Self-esteem, across the lifespan. New York: Taylor & Francis.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Hayes, A. F. (2012). PROCESS: A versatile computational tool for observed variable mediation, moderation, and conditional process modeling. Retrieved on February 24, 2014, from http://www.afhayes.com/public/process2012.pdf.

  29. Hayes, A. F. (2013). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: a regression-based approach. New York: Guilford Press.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Heppner, P. P., Wampold, B. E., & Kivlighan, D. M., Jr. (2013). Research desing in counseling [Psikolojik danışmada araştırma yöntemleri] (Trans. D. M. Siyez). Ankara: Mentis Yayıncılık.

  31. Herzberg, P. Y., Glaesmer, H., & Hoyer, J. (2006). Separating optimism and pessimism: a robust psychometric analysis of the revised life orientation test (LOT–R). Psychological Assessment, 18(4), 433–438. https://doi.org/10.1037/1040-3590.18.4.433.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  32. Hutz, C. S., Midgett, A., Pacico, J. C., Bastianello, M. R., & Zanon, C. (2014). The relationship of hope, optimism, self-esteem, subjective well-being, and personality in Brazilians and Americans. Psychology, 5(6), 514–522.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Karademas, E. C. (2006). Self-efficacy, social support and well-being: the mediating role of optimism. Personality and Individual Differences, 40(6), 1281–1290.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Kaya, H., Bodur, G., & Yalnız, N. (2014). The relationship between high school students’ attitudes toward future and subjective well-being. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 116, 3869–3873.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Kocayörük, E., & Şimşek, F. Ö. (2009). The mediating effect of self-esteem on the relationship between attachment to parents and subjective well-being [Ergenlerde anne-baba bağlanması ile iyi oluş ilişkisinde benlik saygısının aracılık etkisi[, I. Uluslararası Eğitim Araştırmaları Birliği Kongresi, (1–3 Mayıs), Çanakkale, Turkey.

  36. Köker, S. (1991). Comparison of life satisfaction of adolescents with a behavioural problem and without it [Normal ve sorunlu ergenlerin yaşam doyumu düzeylerinin karşılaştırılması]. (Unpublished master thesis), Ankara Üniversitesi, Ankara, Turkey.

  37. Krok, D. (2015). The mediating role of optimism in the relations between sense of coherence, subjective and psychological well-being among late adolescents. Personality and Individual Differences, 85, 134–139.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Laurent, J., Catanzaro, S. J., Joiner Jr., T. E., Rudolph, K. D., Potter, K. I., Lambert, S., et al. (1999). A measure of positive and negative affect for children: scale development and preliminary validation. Psychological Assessment, 11(3), 326–338.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Lemola, S., Räikkönen, K., Gomez, V., & Allemand, M. (2013). Optimism and self-esteem are related to sleep. Results from a large community-based sample. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 20(4), 567–571.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Lyubomirsky, S., Tkach, C., & DiMatteo, M. R. (2006). What are the differences between happiness and self-esteem. Social Indicators Research, 78(3), 363–404.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Mellor, D., Hayashi, Y., Firth, L., Stokes, M., Chambers, S., & Cummins, R. (2008). Volunteering and well-being: Do self-esteem, optimism, and perceived control mediate the relationship? Journal of Social Service Research, 34(4), 61–70.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Monzani, D., Steca, P., & Greco, A. (2014). Brief report: assessing dispositional optimism in adolescence–factor structure and concurrent validity of the life orientation test–revised. Journal of Adolescence, 37(2), 97–101.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Nevin, S., Carr, A., Shevlin, M., Dooley, B., & Breaden, C. (2005). Factors related to well-being in Irish adolescents. Irish Journal of Psychotherapy, 26(3–4), 123–136.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Pu, J., Hou, H., & Ma, R. (2017). The mediating effects of self-esteem and trait anxiety mediate on the impact of locus of control on subjective well-being. Current Psychology, 36(1), 167–173. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-015-9397-8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Puskar, K. R., Bernardo, L. M., Ren, D., Haley, T. M., Tark, K. H., Switala, J., & Siemon, L. (2010). Self-esteem and optimism in rural youth: gender differences. Contemporary Nurse, 34(2), 90–198.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Rey, L., Extremera, N., & Pena, M. (2011). Perceived emotional intelligence, self-esteem and life satisfaction in adolescents. Psychosocial Intervention, 20(2), 227–234.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  48. Rosenberg, M. (1979). Conceiving the self. New York: Basic Books.

    Google Scholar 

  49. Sapmaz, F., & Doğan, T. (2012). Examination of the Effect of Optimism on Happiness and Life Satisfaction [Mutluluk ve Yaşam Doyumunun Yordayıcısı Olarak İyimserlik]. Mersin Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 8(3), 63–69.

    Google Scholar 

  50. Şar, A. H., & Işıklar, A. (2012). Examination of locus of control, subjective well-being and optimism as the predictors of sport confidance. Nigde University Journal of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, 6(1), 76–84.

    Google Scholar 

  51. Scheier, M. F., & Carver, C. S. (1985). Optimism, coping, and health: assessment and implications of generalized outcome expectancies. Health Psychology, 4, 219–247.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Scheier, M. E., & Carver, C. S. (1987). Dispositional optimism and physical well-being: the influence of generalized outcome expectancies on health. Journal of Personality, 55(2), 169–210.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Türkmen, M. (2012). The Structure of Subjective Well-Being and Its Relationship with Parenting Style, Self Esteem and Social Support: A Model Test [Öznel iyi oluşun yapısı ve ana-baba tutumları, özsaygı ve sosyal destekle ilişkisi: Bir model sınaması]. Uşak Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi, 5(1), 41–73.

    Google Scholar 

  54. Vacek, K. R., Coyle, L. D., & Vera, E. M. (2010). Stress, self-esteem, hope, optimism, and well-being in urban, ethnic minority adolescents. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 38(2), 99–111.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Yalçın, İ. (2011). Social support and optimism as predictors of life satisfaction of college students. International Journal for the Advancement of Counseling, 33(2), 79–87.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  56. Yıldız, M. A. (2010). Investigation self-esteem, life-satisfaction and depression levels of middle school students who work on the street and those do not (A Case of Diyarbakır) [Sokakta çalışan ve çalışmayan ilköğretim ikinci kademe öğrencilerinin benlik saygısı, yaşam doyumu ve depresyon düzeylerinin incelenmesi (Diyarbakır ili örneği). (Unpublished master thesis), İnönü Üniversitesi, Malatya, Turkey.

  57. Yıldız, M. A. (2014). The multiple mediating role of emotion regulation and coping strategies on the relationship between parent attachment and subjective well-being in adolescents [Ergenlerde anne-babaya bağlanma ile öznel iyi oluş arasındaki ilişkide duygu düzenleme ve baş etme yöntemlerinin çoklu aracılık rolü]. (Unpublished doctoral thesis), Mersin Üniversitesi, Mersin, Turkey.

  58. Yıldız, M. A., & Karadaş, C. (2015). Multiple mediation of perceived social support and self-esteem in the relationship between loneliness and life-satisfaction [Yalnızlık ile yaşam doyumu arasındaki ilişkide algılanan sosyal destek ile benlik saygısının seri çoklu aracılığı] (s. 488–489). 24. Ulusal Eğitim Bilimleri Kongresi, 16–19 Nisan 2015, Niğde Üniversitesi, Niğde, Turkey.

  59. Yıldız, M. A., & Baytemir, K. (2016). A mediation role of self-esteem in the relationship between marital satisfaction and life satisfaction in married ındividuals [Evli bireylerde evlilik doyumu ile yaşam doyumu arasındaki ilişkide benlik saygısının aracılık etkisi]. İnönü Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 17(1), 67–80.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Funding

The study did not get any financial support.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Baki Duy.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of Interest

Author A declares that he/she has no conflict of interest. Author B declares that he/she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants. Parental consent was also obtained for all high school participants.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Duy, B., Yıldız, M.A. The Mediating Role of Self-Esteem in the Relationship Between Optimism and Subjective Well-Being. Curr Psychol 38, 1456–1463 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-017-9698-1

Download citation

Keywords

  • Subjective well-being
  • Optimism
  • Self-esteem
  • Adolescents
  • Mediation