Multidimensional Assessment of Life Satisfaction in Southern Appalachia

Dr. Massimo Bardi*
* Associate Professor of Psychology, Marshall University, Huntington.
Periodicity:May - July'2009


People living in Southern Appalachia have been burdened by lack of resources, economic disparity, gender issues, and an increased probability to develop chronic disease linked to stress and anxiety.  These problems can severely affect the individual’s evaluation of the quality of life. In this study we assessed several predictors of life satisfaction. Undergraduate students enrolled at Marshall University participated in the study (n = 149). Participants filled out several questionnaires (Self-monitoring, Revised Life Orientation Test, Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, Depression Anxiety Stress Scale, and Satisfaction with Life Scale) during one session that lasted between 30-45 minutes. Alternative hierarchical models of life satisfaction were tested including the following predictors: dispositional variables (optimism and self-monitoring), perceived stress and anxiety, social support from three different sources (family, friends, significant others), and gender. Results indicated that life satisfaction was high (80% of the subjects reported to be satisfied above average), a figure comparable to the national average. Dispositional variables played an opposite role: whereas high optimism had a very significant impact on life satisfaction, excessive self-monitoring was related to lower levels of life satisfaction. Social support, in particular family support, played a moderating role in reducing the level of perceived anxiety and thus increasing life satisfaction. In conclusion, these results indicated that different sources of stress drive distinct coping mechanisms in different physical and socio-cultural environments, and a combination of high optimism and family support is critical to help reducing anxiety in an environment characterized by poverty, social and gender disparity, and high suicide rate.


Stress And Anxiety, Social Support, Self-Monitoring, Quality Of Life.

How to Cite this Article?

Dr. Massimo Bardi (2009). Multidimensional Assessment of Life Satisfaction in Southern Appalachia. i-manager’s Journal on Educational Psychology, 3(1), 43-53.


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