Study of the effect of dispositional optimism on physical and psychological well-being from a longitudinal perspective
Keywords:Dispositional optimism, pessimism, depressive symptoms, physical symptoms
The first goal of the present study was to analyse the relationship between dispositional optimism and the physical and depressive symptoms reported. Additionally, we wanted to know the one or two-dimension structure of the most widely used instrument to assess optimism, the Life Orientation Test (LOT). Measures were taken at the beginning of the course (time 1) and one week before of beginning of partial and eliminatory exams (time 2). The time gap between the first and the second evaluation was 77 days. The results showed that subjects with high scores in optimism as well as those with low scores in pessimism reported less depressive and physical symptoms than individuals with low scores in optimism or high scores in pessimism respectively. These results were obtained in both time 1 and time 2. These and other data suggest that the LOT only assesses one dimension. The protective role of dispositional optimism on psychological and physical health is discussed.