The biobehavioral family model: Testing eudaimonic well-being as an additional mediator

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The current study examined eudaimonic well-being as an additional mediating variable in the Biobehavioral Family Model (BBFM; Wood, 1993). Data from a nationally representative sample of adults (N = 1255, Midlife in the United States II; Ryff et al., 2012) was used to test whether family emotional climate was associated with eudaimonic well-being (i.e., purpose in life, self-acceptance, environmental mastery, and personal growth), and whether eudaimonic well-being was in turn associated with biobehavioral reactivity (i.e., anxiety, depression and allostatic load). This hypothesis, and the original pathways of the BBFM, were tested using two operationalizations of the family emotional climate in separate models: a family model (n = 1050) and an intimate partner model (n = 810). Structural equation modeling was used to conduct path analyses and to test indirect effects. Results indicated that eudaimonic well-being is a significant mediating factor in the BBFM, contributing to how family relationships affect physical health outcomes for adults. This study highlights the need for therapeutic interventions to improve resilience at both the individual and family level, and emphasizes the need for increased collaboration between medical and mental health providers.

biobehavioral family model, MIDUS,