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Expressiveness does predict well-being

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Abstract

Previous studies of “sex role” and well-being have yielded mixed results on the relationship between expressive traits and well-being. This may be due to methodological inconsistencies, problems inherent in early sex role inventories, and narrow definitions of well-being. This study assessed the relationship between the instrumental and expressive traits on the Short Bem Sex Role Inventory (SBSRI) and a composite picture of well-being, including depression, positive affect, affect balance, life satisfaction, and affect intensity, in a sample of primarily white middle-class college students. The two scales of the SBSRI predicted most aspects of well-being equally well, yielding two independent main effects. The expressive scale was the only significant predictor of affect intensity. Expressiveness scores were positively correlated with affect intensity overall, and with positive affect intensity in particular. It is suggested that the SBSRI is tapping two factors of a general positive self-schema, rather than sex role per se.

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Author information

Correspondence to Melissa G. Hunt.

Additional information

Funds for this study were provided by the University of Pennsylvania Psychology Department. Many thanks to Martin Seligman and Janet Spence for their helpful comments on several drafts. Thanks also to Jay Hull and George Wolford for their help with statistical queries.

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Hunt, M.G. Expressiveness does predict well-being. Sex Roles 29, 147–169 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00289933

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Keywords

  • Depression
  • College Student
  • Life Satisfaction
  • Social Psychology
  • Positive Affect