What Factors are Associated with Flourishing? Results from a Large Representative National Sample

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Flourishing is the ultimate end-state in psychology and a key-concept in the field of positive psychology research. Flourishers are those individuals with both high levels of hedonic well-being and eudaimonic well-being. Although many researchers have focused on one or another of these domains, only a few have investigated the comprehensive state of flourishing. The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of flourishing and its association with socio-demographics, personality traits and situational factors. This study used data from the second wave of the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study-2 (NEMESIS-2), a national representative sample of adults in The Netherlands (n = 5303; 2010–2012). Findings were compared to having either high hedonic well-being or high eudaimonic well-being. Results showed that 37 % of the respondents were flourishers, mainly characterized by high levels of conscientiousness and extraversion and low levels of neuroticism. The situational factors of social support and positive life-events were significantly associated with flourishing when the analysis was controlled for socio-demographics and personality traits. Flourishing was most distinct from high hedonic well-being and showed parallelism with high eudaimonic well-being. More research is needed to establish a preferred flourishing instrument with validated cut-off points for flourishing and to understand the processes of situational factors that may underlie the promotion of flourishing. We recommend longitudinal designs and experience sampling studies to investigate the unique and modifiable predictors of flourishing. In addition, future research should include intervention studies that examine through which hedonic and eudaimonic pathways flourishing can be achieved
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1351-1370
JournalJournal of happiness studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2016


  • METIS-310742
  • IR-96116


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