Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education and International Services


Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Elsie P. Jackson

Second Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher

Third Advisor

Elvin Gabriel


Problem and Purpose

Although recent summaries of subjective well-being have illuminated four primary covariants, little research has been done that addresses the interaction and combined effects of these variables, limiting the development of theory and practice, especially in the population of university faculty. This research sought to address the interaction of self esteem, personal control, optimism, and extraversion when measured together, and how they combine in relation to subjective well-being in a sample of Midwestern university faculty.


A total of 233 surveys was collected from two Midwestern university faculty populations. These surveys measured self-esteem, personal control, optimism, extraversion, subjective well-being, and several demographics. Each of these variables was analyzed using multiple regression in regard to the measure of subjective well-being.


Subjective well-being correlated significantly with self-esteem, a sense of personal control, and optimism, but not extraversion when measured individually. When measured together, self-esteem, a sense of personal control, and optimism were significantly correlated with subjective well-being, whereas extraversion was not significantly correlated multivariateiy Each of the variables self-esteem, personal control, optimism, and extraversion showed significant intercorrelations. When marital satisfaction and level of instruction were added to form a model in addition to the primary variables, just under 50% of the subjective well-being variance was accounted for among married faculty members. Adding marital status and instructional level to the primary variables accounted for 36% of subjective well-being variance.


Univariately, self-esteem, optimism, and personal control shared significant variance with subjective well-being. Multivariately, marital satisfaction and self-esteem shared the largest relative variance with subjective well-being. Optimism, personal control, and instructing at only one level also shared significant variance with subjective well-being multivariately. Although extraversion has shown substantial correlations with subjective well-being in other studies, it appears to be suspect in this research and may be population specific. The moderate intercorrelations between the variables show that the variables self-esteem, optimism, personal control, and extraversion do not additively relate to subjective well-being.

Subject Area

Universities and colleges--Faculty; College teachers--Psychology


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