Longitudinal Profiles of Eudaimonic Well-Being in Asian American Adolescents

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Objective: The current study explores whether a well-known model (i.e., Ryff’s, 1989, conceptualization of psychological functioning) can be used to examine patterns of eudaimonic well-being among Asian Americans, who are rarely the focus of systematic investigations in positive psychology. Method: Hidden Markov modeling, a form of latent transition analysis, was used to analyze longitudinal data from adolescents (N = 180; 49% female; 75% U.S.-born). Results: After establishing measurement validity, analyses revealed 4 profiles of well-being: Flourishing (consistently high on all well-being dimensions), Functioning (consistently moderate), Hindered (consistently low), and Self-Driven Success (high on most dimensions, but moderate levels of positive relationships). The Functioning profile was the most prevalent, followed by relatively even distributions of the remaining profiles. Profiles substantially shifted from year to year, with the Functioning and Hindered groups exhibiting the most stability. Profiles reflecting more positive well-being (i.e., Flourishing, Self-Driven) were associated with ethnic and American centrality and regard, and interactive effects suggest compounding benefits of these identities. Conclusions: Psychological models of well-being appear malleable, and cultural identity can contribute to such fluctuations. Results also support the utility of a profile approach to continue examining qualities of positive well-being among Asian American youth.

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