Perceived Social Support, Self-Discrepancy, and Subjective Well-Being
Rosarii O’Riordan*, Mike Murphy, Zelda Di Blasi and Carmen Moret-Tatay
Citation: O’Riordan, R., Murphy, M., Di Blasi, Z., & Moret-Tatay, C. (2022). Perceived Social Support, Self-Discrepancy, and Subjective Well-Being, European Journal of Applied Positive Psychology, 6, 7, 1-11. https://www.nationalwellbeingservice.org/volumes/volume-6-2022/volume-6-article-7/
Processing dates: Submitted 13 November 2021; Accepted 21 January 2022; Published 20 June 2022
Background: There is considerable evidence to indicate that higher perceived social support (PSS) is related to greater subjective well-being (SWB). However, there are several factors which can impact this relationship. The present cross-sectional study explored the relationship from the perspective of the self-discrepancy theory and applied the domains of the actual and ought self to PSS.
Aims: This study aimed to further examine PSS’s capacity to predict SWB, to investigate actualought social support discrepancy’s (SSD) capacity to predict SWB, and to explore actual-ought SSD as a mediator in the relationship between PSS and SWB.
Methods: Online survey data were collected from 1,065 adults, recruited via university email and social media. Hierarchical multiple regressions and mediation analyses were carried out with age, gender, and the Big Five personality traits as control variables.
Results: PSS positively predicted SWB, and actual-ought SSD negatively predicted SWB. Actualought SSD also partially mediated the relationship between PSS and SWB.
Conclusion: This exploratory study provides initial evidence for the impact of an actual-ought SSD on SWB and its mediating role in the relationship between PSS and SWB. If these findings are replicated, they could have implications for the delivery of social support interventions.
Keywords: positive psychology, subjective well-being, perceived social support, self-discrepancy theory,
social support discrepancy.
Rosarii O’Riordan is with the School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork, Ireland
Mike Murphy is with the School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork, Ireland
Zelda Di Blasi is with the School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork, Ireland
Carmen Moret-Tatay is with the Faculty of Psychology,
Universidad Católica de Valencia San Vicente Mártir, Spain
Correction: Minor correction to paper on 22/6/22. In Table 3, the first symbol was changed to B instead of standardized B.