Balanced authenticity predicts optimal well-being: Theoretical conceptualization and empirical development of the authenticity in relationships scale

  • Wang Y
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This paper describes the theoretical development and validation of the authenticity in relationships scale (AIRS), and tests whether balanced authenticity predicts optimal well-being and simultaneous gains of agency and communion. Six independent adult samples (N = 1115; M age = 31.75; female = 642) completed the AIRS and measures used to establish construct validity, psychological well-being (PWB), and subjective well-being (SWB). Exploratory and multigroup confirmatory factor analysis supported a tripartite conception of authenticity (ego-centric authenticity, other-distorted authenticity, and balanced authenticity), and this was shown to be invariant across samples and gender groups. With good reliability and test-retest stability, subscale scores composed of factor-unique items were found to correlate with criterion-related constructs in the directions predicted. Specifically, ego-centric authenticity was related to unmitigated agency and low relationship satisfaction. Other-distorted authenticity was related to unmitigated communion and low autonomy. Balanced authenticity was shown to predict both agency and communion, and was positively correlated with SWB, even when social desirability was controlled for. These findings contribute to our understanding of the relational essence of authenticity and its subsequent association with well-being.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Balanced authenticity
  • Dialecticism
  • Optimal well-being
  • Relationship

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  • Yi Nan Wang

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