This study aimed to assess the validity of two models which integrate the cognitive (satisfaction with life) and affective (symptoms of anxiety and depression) aspects of subjective well-being within the framework of rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT) theory; specifically REBT's theory of psychopathology and theory of psychological health.
397 Irish and Northern Irish undergraduate students completed measures of rational/irrational beliefs, satisfaction with life, and anxiety/depression symptoms. Structural equation modelling techniques were used in order to test our hypothesis within a cross-sectional design.
REBT's theory of psychopathology (χ2 = 373.78, d.f. = 163, p < .001; comparative fit index (CFI) = .92; Tucker Lewis index (TLI) = .91; root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) = .06 (95% CI = .05 to .07); standardized root mean square residual (SRMR) = .07) and psychological health (χ2 = 371.89, d.f. = 181, p < .001; CFI = .93; TLI = .92; RMSEA = .05 (95% CI = .04 to .06); SRMR = .06) provided acceptable fit of the data. Moreover, the psychopathology model explained 34% of variance in levels of anxiety/depression, while the psychological health model explained 33% of variance.
This study provides important findings linking the fields of clinical and positive psychology within a comprehensible framework for both researchers and clinicians. Findings are discussed in relation to the possibility of more effective interventions, incorporating and targeting not only negative outcomes, but also positive concepts within the same model.