Optimistic Attributional Style as a Predictor of Well-Being: Exploring the Mediating Roles of Gratitude and Savoring the Moment
Background. The construct of attributional style refers to specific ways people explain events, both positive and negative. Optimistic attributional style (OAS) for negative events has been shown to be reliably associated with low depression (Peterson et al., 1985; Sweeney et al., 1986; Hu et al., 2015). On the contrary, optimistic attributional style for positive events is a separate phenomenon associated mainly with well-being, but these relationships remain underexplored.
Objective. This study aims to explore the predictive power of OAS-Positive, its relationships with subjective well-being and possible personality mediators related to positive functioning. It was hypothesized that abilities to feel grateful and savor positive life events mediate the relationship between optimistic thinking about positive outcomes and subjective well-being.
Design. A сross-sectional design was implemented. Participants were 271 adults from Moscow and Moscow Region (M age = 32.42, SD=12.9).
Results. The results of regression analysis show that both life satisfaction and subjective happiness depend on gratitude, self-esteem, and dispositional optimism, but only happiness is predicted by savoring the moment. The results of structural equation modeling are consistent with the hypothesis as the structural model reveals that the effects of OAS-Positive on subjective well-being are fully mediated by gratitude, savoring the moment, as well as self-esteem and dispositional optimism. The mediated effects of OAS-Negative through self-esteem and gratitude are inconsistent and its total indirect effect on subjective well-being is not significant.
Conclusion. This research provides preliminary evidence that optimistic thinking about positive life events promotes subjective well-being through a system of positive psychological traits and attitudes which include gratitude and savoring the moment.