Life Balance and Well-Being: Testing a Novel Conceptual and Measurement Approach
Article first published online: 2 JUN 2010
© 2010, Copyright the Authors. Journal compilation © 2010, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Personality
Volume 78, Issue 4, pages 1093–1134, August 2010
How to Cite
Sheldon, K. M., Cummins, R. and Kamble, S. (2010), Life Balance and Well-Being: Testing a Novel Conceptual and Measurement Approach. Journal of Personality, 78: 1093–1134. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2010.00644.x
- Issue published online: 5 JUL 2010
- Article first published online: 2 JUN 2010
ABSTRACT Although a balanced life has always been viewed as desirable, there are problems with extant conceptualizations and measures of this construct. Here we introduce 2 new life-balance measures, based on time-use profiles, that address these problems. One defines life balance as objectively equitable time use across multiple life domains, and the other defines life balance as low subjective discrepancy between actual and ideal time-use profiles. Study 1 finds that both measures predict concurrent well-being, in both U.S. and Indian samples. Study 2 shows that fluctuations in balance predict fluctuations in well-being over a 3-week period. Study 3 replicates the Study 1 findings using a different time assessment technique, based on the Day Reconstruction Method. Study 4 assigns participants the month-long goal of enhancing their life balance, finding that those who achieve this goal enhance their well-being. In all 4 studies, the balance effects on well-being were mediated by psychological need satisfaction associated with balance.