Predicting Subjective Well-Being Using Social Support and Mindfulness for United Arab Emirates University Students

Sarah El Nabulsi


This thesis is concerned with assessing the psychological well-being of the United Arab Emirates University students community and predicting the integral factors that significantly contribute to it. Existing studies have explored pathologies such as depression and anxiety in an attempt to deduce knowledge indispensable to clinical interventions. This study deals with what the individuals with high psychological well-being are doing well and takes this knowledge to inform clinical interventions. In this context, it is noteworthy to argue that this thesis is one of the pioneering studies involving a predominantly local population, which allows for more successful and more culturally sensitive clinical interventions in the U.A.E. This study aims to determine if high levels of access to social support from family, friends and significant other along with high levels of mindfulness ability also known as calm, conscious awareness, can predict high levels of psychological well-being (emotional and cognitive satisfaction with one’s life). Self-report questionnaires were administered online to a sample of 889 students at the United Arab Emirates University. The instruments included five questionnaires: Section 1, Demographics (6 items). Section 2, PANAS (20 items). Section 3, The Life satisfaction scale (5 items). Section 4, CAMS-R (12 item). Section 5, Multidimensional scale of perceived social support (12 item). The findings showed that both social support scores and mindfulness scores significantly predicted subjective well-being scores. Social support was a stronger predictor of life satisfaction (the cognitive component of subjective well-being) than mindfulness. Whereas mindfulness was the strongest predictor of the positive affect scores (one of the emotional component of subjective well-being along with negative affect). Social support from family members was the highest source of social support when compared to social support from friends and significant other. The findings from this study can help guide clinical interventions in a more targeted, culturally sensitive and, therefore, more effective manner to increase subjective well-being in the UAEU student population.