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Activity resources of psychological well-bein

Priority areas of development: humanitarian
Department: Centre for Fundamental Studies
The project has been carried out as part of the HSE Program of Fundamental Studies.

Goal of research: the goal of research was to clarify and demonstrate the ways involvement in an activity influences psychological well-being, depending on the characteristics of personality motivation (intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation, meaning of activity) and self-regulation. 

Within this goal, several specific aims were set:
1) Theoretical analysis of the structure and functions of personality resources and of mechanisms they influence activity and well-being of individuals.
2) Development of differential theoretical model of experiences in a subjectively valued activity (components of optimal experience) and their influence on well-being.
3) Development of a theoretical model of eudaimonia as a subjective reflection of individual activity of the enactment of values.
4) Analysis and systematization of stadial models of health-related behavior change; development of a theoretical model of forms of attitude towards one’s body as motivational factors of health-related activity.
5) Development and validation of new psychometric tools measuring experiences in activity, work-life balance, eudaimonic well-being, attitudes towards one’s body.
6) Empirical study of the association of activity with psychological well-being and the way personality resources moderate this association in different settings.

Methodology: theoretical analysis, cross-sectional study, longitudinal study, subjective self-report methods (questionnaires), correlational analysis, multiple regression, structural equation modelling.

Empirical base of research: individuals undergoing an economic crisis (N=127), employees of organizations (N=4708), students (N=578), Internet users (N=1168).

Results of research:

1) Personality resources form an integral structure and function as mediators and moderators of the association between the characteristics of a given situation and individual activity and well-being experience.
2) In a crisis situation, personality resources serve as filters (helping to evaluate the situation as less stressful) and buffers (helping the coping activity), enabling the support of psychological well-being.
3) Personality resources define individual differences in ways of coping (active vs. passive coping strategies) which result in different dynamics of well-being. The success of coping with difficult situations depends on the levels of positive psychological characteristics and their systemic organization.
4) Optimal experience in activity includes the following components: pleasure, effort, and meaning. A measurement instrument was developed to measure these components. The theoretical structure was shown to be useful for theoretical and empirical analysis of experiences associated with work, academic, and leisure activities.
5) An integral theoretical model of eudaimonic well-being understood as life satisfaction associated with effortful enactment of one’s values experienced as subjectively meaningful. The first Russian-language instrument to measure eudaimonia was developed. It was shown that higher levels of eudaimonic well-being are associated with involvement in academic learning or volunteering.
6) Components of work-life balance experience were analysed; it was shown that self-reported work-life balance is associated with work engagement and emotions experienced in the process of work, as well as depends on organizational context and labour conditions.
7) Different models of health-related behavior change were analysed, possibilities and limitations of models of different type were demonstrated.
8) Based on self-determination theory and the concept of alienation, three forms of attitudes towards one’s body were differentiated: identification (body viewed as part of self, a value), objectivation (body viewed as external and instrumental), and ignoring one’s body. A diagnostic instrument to measure these forms was developed. Identification was shown to be related to the perceived value of health, productive notions of health, internal locus of control in the health domain, and engagement in health-preserving activities. The two alienated forms (objectivation of one’s body and ignoring one’s body) were associated with extrinsic values, non-productive notions of health, external locus of control in the health domain, and absence of health-related activities.


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