This study utilizes a 3‐year longitudinal design to explore factors that promote thriving among Latinas facing multiple adversity: poverty and chronic illness (specifically, arthritis). From a thriving paradigm, focus is placed on understanding the positive growth and thriving experiences reported by respondents, as well as the social, cultural, and personal resources that promote thriving. In the baseline interview, we employed a qualitative methodology to understand women's experiences of thriving. Women reported a variety of such experiences, the most frequent being enhanced appreciation of life. In the follow‐up study, we created a thriving scale based on responses generated at the initial interview and prior research, then examined which of a number of social/cultural and personal factors predicted thriving 3 years after the initial assessment. Only measures of competence (self‐esteem and self‐ efficacy) and psychological well‐being were related to thriving. Path analyses testing the causal sequence of these variables revealed that negative affect contributed to decreased self‐efficacy and self‐esteem, but it did not have a direct or indirect effect on thriving. Greater self‐esteem positively predicted thriving. In contrast, positive affect did not contribute to either measure of competence, but had a direct effect on thriving. Results suggest that psychological well‐being (not ill‐being) promotes thriving.
Journal of Social Issues – Wiley
Published: Jul 1, 1998
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