Well-Being of Nursing Students: Role of Affect Regulation, Self-Esteem, Family Cohesion and Social Support

Andreja Brajsa-Zganec1, Ljiljana Kaliterna Lipovcan1, *, Danijela Ivanovic2, Zvjezdana Prizmic Larsen3
1 Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences, Zagreb, Croatia
2 Ministry of Justice RoC, Independent Service for Victim and Witness support, Zagreb, Croatia
3 Washington University in St. Louis, St.Louis, Missouri, USA

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Creative Commons License
© 2017 Brajsa-Zganec et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences, Marulicev trg 19/1, Zagreb, Croatia; Tel: +385-1-4886820; E-mail:



Nursing is a profession often characterized with high level of stress, physical and mental demands at work, which then can bring personal and social strains in nurses’ life. It is important to identify the factors, which can lead to nurses’ better subjective well-being.


This study explores the relationship between subjective well-being (life satisfaction, happiness) and set of personal (self-esteem, affect regulation strategies) and social variables (family cohesion, social support).


411 participants were nursing part-time students, 79% females (M=25 years). They reported life satisfaction, happiness, strategies used by the Measure of Affect Regulation Styles classified into 6 scales: Behavioral, Cognitive, Situation-directed, Affect-directed, Disengagement and Avoidance, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Family cohesion scale and shortened and adapted version of the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List belonging subscale, their gender, age and socioeconomic status.


Well-being variables were best predicted positively by behavioral and affect-focused strategies, social support, family cohesion and self-esteem. Both sets of personal and social variables showed similar predictive power.


The findings of our study showed the importance of personal as well as social variables in predicting well-being among nursing students. Providing strong social support and good family cohesion, as well as using effective regulation strategies and having higher self-esteem would help in improving their life satisfaction and happiness.

Keywords: Life satisfaction, Happiness, Affect regulation, Self-esteem, Family cohesion, Social support.