Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Fred H. Borgen


The relationships among several variables that have been demonstrated to relate to one another and to positive human functioning were examined. The variables included in the study are Extraversion, Neuroticism, positive and negative affect, self-efficacy, self-esteem, optimism, locus of control, and emotional intelligence. The primary goals of the study were to determine whether an underlying element of adaptability could explain the previously reported overlap among these constructs, to examine the predictive ability of these constructs with regard to academic success, and to engage in exploratory investigation of the construct of emotional intelligence. Participants were 316 undergraduate students (211 female, 105 male). A factor analysis was conducted using all the variables, including several that were included for purposes of disconfirmation. The variables predicted to be related to adaptability (listed above) loaded on the first two factors, labeled Reflective Adaptability and Agentic Adaptability. Other variables not expected to be related to adaptability loaded on the remaining three factors. In addition, six detailed hypotheses were formulated based on previous findings and theoretical principles. Most hypotheses were supported, and most expected relationships were found. In general, the conceptualization of an underlying element of adaptability was supported, because of the factor analytic results and because variables expected to be included in this construct were found to have much stronger relationships with one another than they did with variables that were not expected to be included in the construct of adaptability (e.g., Holland theme self-efficacy). Nevertheless, there was also support for the conceptualization of variables included in the study as distinct constructs that are independent from one another. Findings related to emotional intelligence suggest the importance of further investigation using alternate measures of the construct. Few variables in the study were found to predict GPA or ACT scores; Investigative self-efficacy was a notable exception.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Lori Dawn Lindley



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

128 pages