Psychological well-being refers to an individual’s engagement with existential challenges of life. In the last several decades, there has been a shift to the positive aspects of mental well-being. The standards that people used to measure well-being had not been theorized. Carol Ryff developed a model of psychological well-being that is centered on six dimensions. The six core dimensions of psychological well-being are self acceptance, personal growth, and purpose in life, environmental mastery, autonomy, and positive relationships (Ryff 100). Environmental mastery refers to how an individual manages their life situations. Purpose in life focuses on the extent by which an individual feels their life has meaning (Kállay and Rus 16). Positive relationships measures the depth of connections they had in ties with significant others. Autonomy measures if a person believes they are living in accordance with their own personal convictions. Self acceptance focuses on the knowledge and acceptance of themselves, including their limitations.
Individual Psychological Well-Being
There has been a growing interest in the outcome of psychological well-being interventions. The promotion of well-being is the new goal in mental healthcare.
There are numerous interventions which have been developed for the purpose of improving psychological well-being Weiss, Westerhof, and Bohlmeijer 6). Psychological studies have not established whether well-being can be changed as a function of behavioral intervention.
The new goal in mental health is to investigate the impact of psychological wellbeing interventions. Carol Ryff developed theory-based indicators of psychological well-being. Ryff defined psychological well-being as the process of self realization with six dimensions which includes autonomy, personal growth, environmental mastery, self acceptance, purpose in life, and positive relations with others (Weiss et al., 10). One of the major areas of focus in psychology is whether psychological wellbeing can be promoted in interventions. A meta-analysis by Weiss et al. found that it is possible to improve psychological well-being with behavioral interventions. The study used 27randomised control trials published in peer-reviewed English journals (Weiss et al., 38).
Ryff believed that high levels of psychological wellbeing are a protective factor for mental illness. Psychological well-being can help to address to the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The research used the Ryff’s Psychological Well-Being Scales to measure the psychological well-being outcomes of interventions. Several of the studies reported that psychological well-being can be enhanced through the use of interventions (Weiss et al., 10). Some of the studies established that interventions had a moderate effect on psychological well-being (Weiss et al., 10). As such, it is possible to improve psychological well-being. The study found that delivering interventions face to face had the greatest impact (Weiss 12). Individuals with psychological problems can benefit from interventions that focus on their psychological well-being. The model of well-being is based on Aristotle’s formulation of the highest human good. Psychological well-being is a combination of qualities that lead to satisfaction in life, a sense of coherence, global judgments of life satisfaction, and general attitude of optimism towards life.
Carol Ryff’s multidimensional model of personal well-being is one of the most influential approaches to eudemonia. The six factor model was used to measure the well-being of people in Romania. The psychological well-being model is based on psychosocial development, the fully functioning individual, and the mature personality (Kállay and Rus 17). Self acceptance is essential for an individual’s well-being. It is critical aspect of self actualization. Autonomy refers to the ability of an individual to live fee from the control and influence of others. Individuals should be able to regulate their emotions (Kállay and Rus 17). Positive relationships with others play an important role in psychological well-being. An individual should be able to develop and maintain warm and trusting human relationships. The ability to maintain durable relationships leads to faster attainment of one’s potential. Psychological well-being also involves the ability to design and control complex environments (Kállay and Rus 18). Psychological well-being involves personal growth or the capacity to continuously grow, face the challenges of life, and pursue opportunities. Without purpose in life people would not be able to construct and determine the meaning of life (Kállay and Rus 18). During times of adversity, having a purpose in life improves one’s mental health.
Factors that Influence the Psychological Well-Being and Women’s Psychological Well-Being
Family experiences have a significant impact on the psychological well-being of women (Ryff 81). Greater role involvement enhances the psychological well-being of women. Playing an effective role in the family, such as taking care of family members contributes to greater sense of purpose among women. According to Ryff, parenting children has a greater impact on the well-being of women than men (82). Anticipated events in the family setting have an impact on women’s environmental mastery.
Marital status has an impact on the well-being of women. Ryff argued that single women perform better on the autonomy and personal growth dimensions in comparison to married women (90). Widowhood reduces the well-being of women. Women who have a greater sense of purpose do better after the loss of a partner. Furthermore, religious participation improves the wellbeing of women. Spirituality promotes personal growth. Religious women exhibit a greater purpose in life (Ryff 121). Career pursuits also positively influence women’s personal growth and autonomy.
Body consciousness and weight have also been linked to the psychological well-being of women ( Ryff 165). Overweight or obese women have lower levels of self acceptance. Overweight women are likely to report interpersonal mistreatment and discrimination which impacts their self acceptance. Ryff reported that young women’s body surveillance and body shame decreased over time (167).
Ryff focused on psychological well-being in relation to women. The research focused on the impact of work on the psychological well-being of women (Ryff 108). Work has a different impact on environmental mastery depending on whether it is paid or unpaid. Women who perform unpaid work have low levels of self acceptance and environmental mastery (Ryff 109). Men who engage in paid work have high levels of personal growth. Women who feel that they are not achieving career goals are more likely to score poorly when it comes to purpose in life. Furthermore, women with low levels of purpose in life have lower depressive symptoms. A study focusing on Swedish women found that women in the higher socioeconomic health strata have better psychological well-being than women in the lower socioeconomic strata (Ryff 113). Women teachers exhibited better well-being than women working in banks (Ryff 113). Women working in banks scored better on Ryff’’s six dimensions than women working in industry. Clearly, work and educational experience have a significant impact on how women do on the six-factor well-being model.
A study by Sana Akhter investigated gender differences in psychological well-being. Akhter invested the psychological well-being of 50 men and 50 women (151). The study used Ryff’s scale to measure the psychological wellbeing (Akhter 153). There are notable gender differences in psychological well-being. There are biological and psychological differences that affect the psychological well-being of women differently. Women are also affected by general inequalities in society (Akhter 154). Traditional gender roles are perceived to have a general impact on the self actualization of women. Women face challenges that contribute to differences in psychological well-being. Men and women have different levels of satisfaction (Akhter 153). . Understanding gender differences in psychological well-being is important because of the need to empower individuals to achieve self actualization. Akhter found that there are statistical psychological well-being differences between men and women (154). Possible differences between genders need to be considered in efforts to empower individuals. Differences in gender call for different approaches in promoting the well-being of men and women.
A study by Fahami, Amini-Abchuyeh, and Aghaei investigated the impact of psychological well-being on the body image of pregnant women using Ryff’s six factor model (Fahami 167). Carol Ryff’s model of psychological well-being was used because of its growing importance in measuring the positive psychological functioning of individuals (Fahami 169). Pregnancy can have an impact on psychological well-being because of the various physical and mental changes a woman goes through. Pregnancy also causes anxiety and depression, during and after the experience. The study found that there is a positive relationship between psychological wellbeing and body image (Fahami 169). Women pay more attention to their bodies during pregnancy. A positive body image in pregnant women improves self acceptance. There is no significant relationship between autonomy and body image (Fahami 169). Environmental mastery is an important predictor of body image in pregnant women. Pregnancy has a positive impact on personal growth (Fahami 169). Personal growth refers to the ability of an individual to engage in activities that expand their abilities. Pregnancy represents personal growth in a woman’s life. Therefore, it can impact how a woman perceives her wellbeing (Fahami 169). Women who have positive well-being are not concerned about changes to their body. The provision of care during pregnancy should incorporate psychological well-being. The changing body image can have a negative impact on the psychological well-being of women.
Significant attention is being paid to psychological well-being. Positive psychological functioning is effectively measured by Carol Ryff’s model of psychological well-being. The model is different from the traditional model which conceptualizes psychological well-being as happiness, lack of ill health, adaptability, and self confidence. High levels of psychological wellbeing are a protective factor for mental illness. Psychological well-being can help to address to the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The six factor model is an effective instrument in measuring the individual well-being. The psychological well-being model is based on psychosocial development, the fully functioning individual, and the mature personality. Autonomy refers to the ability of an individual to live fee from the control and influence of others. Self acceptance is a critical aspect of self actualization. Positive relationships with others play an important role in psychological well-being. Psychological well-being also involves the ability to survive and thrive in complex environments. Psychological well-being involves personal growth or the capacity to continuously grow, face the challenges of life, and pursue opportunities. Carol Ryff’s model of psychological well-being is widely used because of its growing importance in measuring the positive psychological functioning of individuals. There are gender differences which affect the psychological well-being of women. Work has a significant impact on the psychological well-being of women. The model is predictor of well-being of pregnant women. Pregnancy can have an impact on psychological well-being because of the various physical and mental changes a woman goes through. Pregnancy also causes anxiety and depression, during and after the experience.
Akhter, S. “Psychological Well-Being In Student Of Gender Difference.” The International Journal of Indian Psychology vol. 2.4 2015 pp. 153-161.
Fahami, Fariba, Maryam Amini-Abchuyeh, and Asghar Aghaei. “The relationship Between Psychological Wellbeing And Body Image In Pregnant Women.” Iranian journal of nursing and midwifery research vol. 23, no. 3 2018 p. 167-169.
Ryff, Carol D. “Psychological Well-Being Revisited: Advances In The Science And Practice Of Eudaimonia.” Psychotherapy and psychosomatics vol. 83, no. 1 2014 pp. 10-28.
Kállay, Éva, and Claudia Rus. “Psychometric Properties Of The 44-Item Version Of Ryff’s Psychological Well-Being Scale.” European Journal of Psychological Assessment 2014 pp. 16-20.
Weiss, Laura A., Gerben J. Westerhof, and Ernst T. Bohlmeijer. “Can we increase psychological well-being? The effects of interventions on psychological well-being: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” PloS one vol. 11, no. 6 2016 p. e0158092.