Exploring the Cultural Applicability of Ryff’s Scales of Psychological Wellbeing to a Multi-Cultural Population in the United Arab Emirates



psychological well-being, cultural application, measurement and scales


Defining and understanding psychological well-being poses a challenge not only for the general population, clinicians and practitioners, but also for the greater academic psychological community. Part of the challenge stems from the lack of consensus among the community on what constitutes well-being (Diener, Suh, Lucas, & Smith, 1999; Synard & Gazzola, 2017), despite time and resources being devoted to defining, operationalizing, and studying this construct (Diener & Chan, 2011; Lyubomirsky, King, & Diener, 2005; Ryan & Deci, 2017; Ryff, 2014). Further, most of the research and development of these measures has taken place in the West, raising questions about their applicability and use in non-Western contexts. This article offers a brief overview of the two main perspectives on well-being, namely hedonia and eudaimonia, and then focuses on the Scales of Psychological Well-Being (Ryff & Keyes, 1995) and its application in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Author Biography

Chasity O'Connell, Human Relations Institute and Clinics (HRIC) and American University of Sharjah

Chasity O’Connell is a Visiting Guest in Residence at the American University of Sharjah (UAE), as well as a Mental Health Counselor (USA Licensed) and Psychologist (CDA Licensed) with the Human Relations Institute and Clinics, Dubai (UAE).


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How to Cite

O’Connell, C. (2018). Exploring the Cultural Applicability of Ryff’s Scales of Psychological Wellbeing to a Multi-Cultural Population in the United Arab Emirates. Middle East Journal of Positive Psychology, 4, 50–64. Retrieved from https://www.middleeastjournalofpositivepsychology.org/index.php/mejpp/article/view/66