Integrating bottom-up and top-down theories of subjective well-being: the case of health

J Pers Soc Psychol. 1993 Apr;64(4):646-53. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.64.4.646.


As a means of integrating bottom-up and top-down theories of subjective well-being (SWB), a framework was proposed that, in part, posits that both objective life circumstances and global personality dimensions indirectly affect SWB through their effects on the interpretation of life circumstances. This proposition was tested both cross-sectionally and longitudinally among a sample of approximately 375 men and women. Personality was operationalized in terms of the dispositional trait negative affectivity (NA), and the life circumstance investigated was health. Strong support was obtained for the hypothesized indirect effects of NA and objective health on SWB. Implications of the integrative framework for the study of SWB are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Affect
  • Aged
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Happiness*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina
  • Personal Satisfaction