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Title: Perceived impact of past significant life events on current well-being
Author: Lock, Robert
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2013
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Life events are widely seen as having an important effect on well-being. This thesis addressed some of the gaps in the literature by examining how positive as well as negative past events are perceived by individuals as affecting different facets of current well-being. In addition, the study examined how these relationships are moderated by insight, reflection and rumination. Psychological undergraduate students (N=73) provided examples of past positive and negative life events and gave open-ended responses about what they saw as the beneficial and adverse consequences of those events for them. These responses were coded for the presence of the six dimensions of Psychological Well-being (PWB) outlined by Ryff (1989) as well as for affect. Self-report measures of insight, reflection and rumination were also completed. Beneficial effects on affect and all the dimensions of PWB, with the exception of Autonomy, were present in the open ended responses of how past positive and negative events were currently impacting on well-being. Adverse effects on affect and the PWB dimensions of Relations with Others, Self-Acceptance and Environmental Mastery were present in the responses of how past positive and negative events were currently impacting on well-being. Relations with others was the most frequently identified dimension of PWB in response to what the beneficial and adverse effects of past events were, indicating the importance of this area in clinical interventions. Personal Growth was the only PWB dimension to be more frequently identified in the responses of the beneficial effects of negative events compared to the beneficial effects of positive events. This indicates that therapeutic interventions targeting growth from previous negative events could benefit from focussing on this aspect of PWB. Reflection was positively correlated to the adverse effect of positive events, whilst rumination was positively con-elated to PWB for the adverse effect of negative events. Implications for clinical and non-clinical populations and possible future research are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available