Date of Award
agency, communion, eudaimonia, mental health, morality, well-being
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Moral behaviour has long been associated with well-being, but the nature of this relationship is not fully understood. The reconciliation model of moral centrality offers a unique framework to understand this relationship. According to the reconciliation model, the opposing force between self-interest and morality can be transformed to one of synergy by developing moral centrality. In turn, this confluence if self-interest and morality should lead to higher psychological well-being. The aim of this study was designed to examine the association between moral centrality and standard markers of mental health and well-being while statistically controlling for any protective effects of altruistic behaviour. Participants were 119 undergraduate university students who completed an online questionnaires assessing standard markers of mental health and well-being, and open-ended questions about their cherished goals. Moral centrality was operationalized as the tendency to coordinate agentic (self-interested) and communal (concern for others) values in these self-narratives. Moral centrality was positively associated with well-being and self-esteem, and negatively associated with negative affect, depression, and anxiety. Altruism did not explain this association and instead was associated only with positive affect. An exploratory analysis revealed that the specific coordination of the agentic value achievement and the communal value benevolence may be responsible for this association. Together, these results suggest that the coordination of agentic and communal motivations may play a meaningful role in the maintenance of mental health and psychological well-being.
Hoyda, Joseph John, "Moral Centrality Predicts Better Mental Health: Evidence for the Protective Effects of Integrating Agency and Communion" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 8521.