journal contribution modified on 21.02.2018, 18:43
The current study aimed to examine demographic determinants of optimism, and prospective associations between optimism and measures of well-being and psychopathology, using a three-wave prospective survey design in a large general population sample of Dutch adults. Optimism showed significant positive correlations with age and education level. Optimism did not longitudinally predict psychological complaints when adjusting for the effects of demographic factors, and previous levels of psychological complaints and well-being. Optimism was, however, a significant positive longitudinal predictor of well-being, also when adjusting for the effects of demographic factors, and prior levels of well-being and psychological complaints. Our findings indicate that optimism as a disposition shows complex connections with the presence of well-being and absence of psychopathology, in line with a multidimensional representation of mental health.