Ota, S., Tokyo Fuji University, Japan
Much research reports a positive correlation between the number of social roles and psychological well being, but the source of that relationship remains unclear. Increasing the number of role is assumed to have three effects; 1) buffering effect (difficulty in one role is buffered by experiences in other roles), 2) resource appropriation (knowledge and skills developed in one role are utilized in other roles), 3) resource depletion (multiple role involvement causes unfavorable outcomes such as, exhaustion, difficulty in adjusting across roles, and unfavorable influence of one role on an other). Multiple roles were hypothesized to sustain and/or enhance people's well being through the first two effects, but were to deprive it through the third one, the net effect being positive. This study examined the above relationships, adding self-complexity to the model because previous studies suggested that relatedness among roles would have a stronger impact on psychological well being than mere number of roles. Questionnaire survey data from 272 college students who had at least one of the four roles (student, worker, club member, and other activity participants) were used. The result of covariance structure analysis (AMOS 4.0) showed a positive significant path from self-complexity to psychological well being via resource appropriation. As for buffering effect and resource depletion, only weak relation was found with role number or self-complexity. It suggested that having more independent roles activates utilization resources across different roles, which enhances psychological well being.