Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 365–379 | Cite as

Personality Traits and Metacognitions as Predictors of Positive Mental Health in College Students

  • C. Marino
  • A. Vieno
  • M. Lenzi
  • B. A. Fernie
  • A. V. Nikčević
  • M. M. Spada
Research Paper


Presence and absence of both psychological distress and well-being are important in predicting life outcomes among youths. Recently, scholars have been paying increased attention to the role of positive mental health (PMH) in predicting psycho-social well-being among young people. The present study aims to test a model designed to assess the unique contribution of personality traits and metacognitions to four domains of PMH (belief-in-self, belief-in-others, emotional competence, and engaged living) among young adults. A total of 795 Italian college students participated in the study. Path analysis revealed that different personality traits were contributors to different PMH domains, and that four of the five metacognitions domains (negative beliefs about thoughts, cognitive confidence, need to control thoughts, and cognitive self-consciousness) differently predicted the four PMH domains. In conclusion it would appear that a combination of personality traits and metacognitions are differently involved in PMH domains. These should be taken into account when developing preventive programmes to promote PMH among young adults.


Metacognitions Personality traits Positive mental health 



Author BAF receives salary support from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Mental Health Biomedical Research Centre and Dementia Research Unit at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, or the Department of Health.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Marino
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. Vieno
    • 1
  • M. Lenzi
    • 1
  • B. A. Fernie
    • 3
  • A. V. Nikčević
    • 4
  • M. M. Spada
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Psicologia dello Sviluppo e della SocializzazioneUniversità degli Studi di PadovaPaduaItaly
  2. 2.Division of Psychology, School of Applied SciencesLondon South Bank UniversityLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and NeuroscienceKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyKingston UniversityKingston-upon-ThamesUK

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