RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LIFE ORIENTATION (OPTIMISM/PESSIMISM) AND MENTAL HEALTH
Objective: To study the relationship between Life Orientation (optimism/pessimism) and Mental Health.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study design.
Place and Duration of Study: The clinical sample was taken from Armed Forces Institute of Mental Health, Rawalpindi and Fauji Foundation Hospital, Rawalpindi. The sample of non-clinical individuals was selected from the areas of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, from Jan 2016 to Sep 2016.
Methodology: The researcher used translated versions of the two instruments, Life Orientation Test (LOT), and Mental Health Inventory (MHI). Sample comprised of 90 adults (n=45 for both men and women) ranging from 18-50 years of age. Sample was further divided into clinical (n=45) and normal population (n=45). The clinical population comprised of patients with the diagnosis of mood (n=22) and anxiety disorders (n=23).
Results: The results revealed that life orientation and mental health were significantly correlated to each` other (r=0.78). For confirming the relationship of life orientation with mental health further covariance of age, gender and education was controlled through Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA). Results revealed that life orientation explained 97% of the variance in mental health initially but after partialling out the covariance of demographic variables, life orientation still significantly accounted for 55% of variance in mental health scores.
Conclusion: The manner through which one orients his or her life optimistically or pessimistically can have deterministic effects on one’s mental health.