Positivity Expressivity, Perceived Social Support and Optimism as Predictors of Psychological Well-Being

Author: Rohma Mehak

Supervisor: Saima Dawood, PhD

Degree: BS

Year: 2009-2013

University: Centre for Clinical Psychology, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan


The present study investigated positive expressivity, perceived social support, optimism and psychological wellbeing among institutionalized and non-institutionalized elderly. A correlational research design was used and 80 older adults (40 institutionalized & 40 non- institutionalized, age range ≥60 years) were taken as sample. Berkeley Expressivity Questionnaire (Gross & John, 1977) to assess positive expressivity; the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (Zimet, Dahlem, Zimet & Farley, 1988) to estimate perceived social support, the Life Orientation Test –Revised (LOT-R) (Scheier, Carver & Bridges, 1994) to assess optimism and Ryff Scale of Psychological Well-being (Ryff, 1989) for estimating psychological well-being were used. The results showed that institutionalized participants were having low level of optimism and perceived social support; were less autonomous and could not control their negative emotions from showing up in comparison to non-institutionalized elderly. Positive expressivity and overall emotional expressivity had negative relation with psychological well- being but perceived social support and optimism showed significant positive relationship in both groups. Overall, lesser perceived family support and personal growth predicted institutionalization among elderly participants. The findings could be used for (i) counseling, family therapy, psychological management of elderly at old homes (ii) charity / welfare work by non-governmental organizations; and (iii) elderly care policy making by government officials.

Keywords: Institutionalization, Elderly, Expressivity, Social Support, Optimism, Psychological Wellbeing.

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