Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Interdisciplinary Health Sciences
Dr. Kieran Fogarty
Dr. Bridget E. Weller
Dr. Jennifer Harrison
Wellbeing or well-being, community, African American or Black, purpose in life, psychological wellbeing, sense of community
This dissertation examined the relationships between sense of community, purpose in life, and psychological wellbeing among African Americans. It investigated whether purpose in life moderated the relationship between sense of community and psychological wellbeing. Although previous studies have linked a sense of community and purpose in life with wellbeing, few studies have examined these relationships among African Americans using a multidimensional model. The data for the current analysis were drawn from the third wave of the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States study (MIDUS 3), collected between 2013–2014. The sample included 98 African American men (n=32) and women (n= 66) between the ages of 39–84 who completed the MIDUS 3 interview and self-administered questionnaire.
Psychological wellbeing was assessed using five subscales from Ryff’s (1989) Multidimensional Wellbeing Instrument (i.e., autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relations with others, and self-acceptance). The sixth subscale, purpose in life, was used to examine the relationship between purpose and the five domains of psychological wellbeing and to investigate whether purpose moderated the relationship between sense of community and psychological wellbeing. Keyes’ (1998) Social Integration Scale was used to assess a sense of community. Data were analyzed using ordinary least squares regression analysis.
The results showed significant positive relationships for each of the five psychological wellbeing domains (autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relations with others, and self-acceptance) and both sense of community and purpose in life. Additionally, purpose in life significantly moderated the relationship between a sense of community and the wellbeing domain of self-acceptance. These results are consistent with previous research and underscore the value of a sense of community and purpose in life for psychological wellbeing among African Americans. This study also contributes to the body of literature that demonstrates the influence of purpose in life as a moderator between various psychological constructs.
Robinson, Yatesha D., "Psychological Wellbeing and Sense of Community Among African Americans: Does Purpose In Life Matter?" (2021). Dissertations. 3699.