Seeking pleasure or growth? The mediating role of happiness motives in the longitudinal relationship between social mobility beliefs and well-being in college students

Li LIN, Liyun HUA, Jingguang LI*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

Abstract

Emerging research has suggested that upward social mobility belief (i.e., perceived chance for moving up socioeconomic ladder through personal merits) may influence people's well-being but has not addressed why. This two-wave longitudinal study aimed to explicate the mechanisms by testing the indirect effect of social mobility belief on college students' well-being through motives to pursue hedonia and eudaimonia in daily activities. A total of 906 Chinese college students (mean age = 19.61, SD =1.03) completed two surveys with an interval of one year. Autoregressive path analyses showed significant indirect effects of social mobility belief on life satisfaction, positive affect and meaning in life (but not negative affect) through eudaimonic motives (but not through hedonic motives). Social mobility beliefs at Time 1 predicted increased eudaimonic motives at Time 2, and eudemonic motives at Time 1 predicted increased well-being at Time 2, adjusting for outcomes assessed at Time 1. The current findings highlight the important roles of socioeconomic worldview and happiness motives in explaining outcomes of well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111170
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume184
Early online date4 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Acknowledgments:
This work was supported by the Projects of Philosophy and Social Sciences Research of Yunnan Province (AFSZ18030, QN2014012) and the Innovation Team of Dali University Grant (SKPY2019303).

Keywords

  • Social mobility beliefs
  • Hedonic motives
  • Eudaimonic motives
  • Well-being

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