Graduate Program

Clinical Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion

Summer 2020

Thesis Director

Ronan S. Bernas

Thesis Committee Member

Wesley D. Allan

Thesis Committee Member

Mariana M. Juras


The purpose of the proposed study was to investigate the relationship between self-enhancement/protection and psychological well-being and to test if these relationships differ depending on whether one has a more independent or more interdependent self-construal. Two hundred and fifty-two participants who were residents of the United States were recruited from Amazon Turk. They responded to scales that measured their self-enhancement/self-protection strategies, independent/interdependent self-construals, positive-negative affect, level of life satisfaction, and psychological distress. The study sample was predominantly White, and participants were significantly more independent than interdependent in their self-construal. Results indicate that self-enhancement was positively associated while self-protection was negatively associated with psychological well-being. Independent/interdependent self-construal did not moderate these relationships. Clinical implications of self-enhancement indicate that even though it is helpful in the short term (increased psychological and social resources), it can be detrimental in the long term. The clinical implications of self-protection suggest that people benefit from self-improvement but can have the psychological cost of not being able to form close relationships when they engage in self- protection strategies. The limitations of the study and directions for future research were discussed.