Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

Experimental Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Co-chair

Tom Seekins, Craig Ravesloot

Commitee Members

Allen Szalda-Petree, Bryan Cochran, Bryce Ward


University of Montana


Individuals’ wellbeing have been investigated through one of two primary perspectives, hedonic or eudaimonic. The hedonic perspective has focused on studying happiness and considers individuals’ maximization of their pleasurable moments as the pathway to happiness (Henderson & Knight, 2012). The eudaimonic perspective suggests that people should live a life of virtue and that actualizing their potential is the pathway to wellbeing (Henderson & Knight, 2012). Both perspectives have used retrospective recall to investigate individuals’ wellbeing. This method has given researchers a better understanding of individuals’ overall wellbeing, but is unable to describe their wellbeing as it varies throughout the day. The exploration of wellbeing throughout the day is especially useful for describing individuals with disabilities whose wellbeing is contingent on their participation in daily activities and those who live in rural communities with less variety of activities.

The current study sampled 25 individuals with disabilities from two rural communities. Participants attended a 90-minute training, agreed to carry a touchscreen device for 14 consecutive days that prompted them with 8 to 10 mini surveys, and completed paper and pencil surveys on global measures of wellbeing two weeks apart. The study aimed to investigate how individuals’ purpose of daily activities, happiness, satisfaction of daily activities, and person-environment fit were associated contemporaneously within the same prompt and across prompts within the same study day.

A series of regressions supported the hypotheses that contemporaneous measures of wellbeing were associated with one another, and that satisfaction of daily activities was positively associated with person-environment fit contemporaneously. Noteworthy time series analyses indicated that individuals’ happiness earlier in the day was positively associated with both purpose of daily activities and satisfaction of daily activities later in the day. Also, individuals’ satisfaction regarding daily activities earlier in the day was positively associated with their person-environment fit three periods later. Implications include evidence for the use of new temporal measurements of wellbeing and support for future individualized intervention opportunities aimed at increasing happiness earlier in the day for lasting relationships on purpose and satisfaction daily activities later in the day.



© Copyright 2016 Jennifer Lauren Wong