Inside Mental Health Podcast: The 80/80 Relationship Model

Inside Mental Health Podcast: The 80/80 Relationship Model

What are your goals in your marriage? Are you trying to make sure everything’s fair and that you and your spouse are contributing equally to the relationship? Today’s guests explain why that could be a recipe for failure. Dr. Nate Klemp and Kaley Klemp are married researchers and relationship experts who have developed the 80/80 method of managing marriages and relationships. Listen as they explain how their method can lead to more closeness and a better connection.

Nate Klemp, PhD, is a writer, philosopher, and entrepreneur. Along with his wife Kaley, he’s the author of the newly released “The 80/80 Marriage: A New Model for a Happier, Stronger Marriage” (Penguin Random House). He’s also the co-author, with Eric Langshur, of the New York Times Bestseller “Start Here: Master the Lifelong Habit of Wellbeing” and is a regular contributor for Inc. Magazine, Fast Company, and Mindful. He’s also a founding partner at Mindful, one of the world’s largest mindfulness media and training companies. Nate holds a BA and MA in philosophy from Stanford University and a PhD from Princeton University.

Kaley Klemp is one of the nation’s leading experts on small-group dynamics and leadership development, a TEDx speaker, and the author of three other books, including the Amazon Bestseller “The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership,” “The Drama-Free Office,” and “13 Guidelines for Effective Teams.” A favorite with Young Presidents Organization (YPO) forums and chapters, Kaley has facilitated retreats for more than 400 member and spouse forums throughout the world. Kaley is a graduate of Stanford University where she earned a BA in international relations and MA in sociology with a focus on organizational behavior.

Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar disorder. He is the author of the popular book, “Mental Illness is an Asshole and other Observations,” available from Amazon; signed copies are also available directly from the author.

To learn more about Gabe, please visit his website,

Producer’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript has been computer generated and therefore may contain inaccuracies and grammar errors. Thank you.

Gabe Howard: Hello, everyone, and welcome to this week’s episode of Inside Mental Health: A Podcast, I’m your host, Gabe Howard, and I want to thank our sponsor, Better Help. You can get a week free by visiting

Calling into the show today we have Nate and Kaley Klemp. Kaley is a graduate of Stanford University, where she earned a B.A. in International Relations and an M.A. in sociology. Nate holds a B.A. and an M.A. and philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. They are a married couple who together wrote the book “The 80/80 Marriage: A New Model for a Happier, Stronger Marriage.” Kaley and Nate, welcome to the show.

Kaley Klemp: Thanks so much, Gabe, so happy to be here.

Dr. Nate Klemp: Great to be here.

Gabe Howard: Personally, I am not a big fan of marriage and relationship books. I tend to believe that every relationship is just so different that it has different needs and wants. So, a book that claims to have the solution to improving your marriage naturally makes me suspicious. Now, spoiler alert, you both made it onto the show. So obviously something piqued my interest. And that specific thing was why 80/80?

Kaley Klemp: Basically, to understand 80/80 is to answer the main question that modern couples are asking, how do we stay equals and be in love? That we can sort of solve for equality, trying to do things 50/50 fair. But that completely blew up. I imagine we’ll talk some more about that. And so it’s how do we create a relationship where we can stretch more toward one another, create a tenor of radical generosity, of contribution and appreciation rather than scorekeeping, and therefore, rather than just having our individual pursuits succeed together.

Gabe Howard: As I’m sitting here thinking about my own marriage, I think about all the advice that I’ve been given and there’s the 50/50, you know, and then there’s the you’re two equals. Now, in my mind, two equals equals like a hundred and a hundred, which mathematically falls apart so 80/80 falls apart even more for me. So I guess my yeah, my specific question is, so if I put 80 percent into my marriage, which I believe is what you’re saying, what do I do with the other 20 percent?

Dr. Nate Klemp: You’re right, the math makes no sense, which we like to say is sort of the whole point because neither does love, right? There’s a kind of inherent irrationality that’s happening here. We are arguing that you want to move the yardstick in marriage from just doing your fair share, your 50 percent to 80 percent. And your question is, well, OK, so that leaves 20 percent. What do you do with that? Or why not 100/100? That’s the question we often get. And really the answer there is that we think this spirit of radical generosity that’s really the essence of 80/80 can either be underdone or overdone. Right? And most of us are under doing it. But there is a potential of being so radically generous that you essentially give up yourself and, you know, you no longer think about your own purpose and your own projects. And there’s a kind of loss of self that goes along with that. So 80 percent is sort of that middle way that we’re trying to strike out here.

Gabe Howard: I absolutely love that you admit that the math doesn’t add up and compared to the fact that love doesn’t add up. Which sort of feeds into my idea that, you know, these books and webinars and seminars, that’s why they always drive me a little batty and plus my natural, pessimistic nature. I understand the concept of fairness, but at the same time, I don’t think that I understand the concept of fairness in a marriage. Now you explore this idea of fairness, and I believe that you’ve realized that fairness in a marriage is a problem.

Dr. Nate Klemp: We think of this idea of 50/50 fairness as almost like the cultural center of gravity in a marriage. Like this is just where we tend to default to, and it creates all sorts of resentment. It leads to keeping score. But really, what I think is most interesting, especially for this podcast, given your focus, is we started to uncover some really interesting research in psychology that basically says fairness is almost like a mirage in the desert. Like you think it’s there. You think if you just get closer to it, you’re going to find it. But the closer you get, the further it recedes. And there’s sort of like two explanations for that. One is what cognitive psychologists call availability bias, which is basically just a fancy way of saying that when it comes to me, all of my contributions to our marriage are totally self-evident. I know exactly what I’ve done. I know all the plates that I’ve taken out of the dishwasher, all of the contributions to our marriage. But when it comes to what Kaley’s done, it gets really fuzzy.

Kaley Klemp: And one of the things that’s really interesting about this, too, is that it’s not only that I know every laundry basket that I’ve folded, I know every dishwasher I’ve emptied, it’s that a lot of the things that happen in marriage, a lot of that work is actually invisible because it’s emotional labor. So it’s really hard to calculate like, all right, today is Nate’s mom’s birthday. How much time and energy and thought went into can we gather outside? Can we make a meal that everyone will actually eat? Can we make sure that she feels celebrated and everybody stays safe? And we keep in alignment with the agreements with school? Like all of these considerations that actually take a lot of energy, they become invisible. And so how to make that kind of stuff fair is a total losing battle because you can’t. And there’s another piece of this that I think is also really interesting, which is about overestimation. I think that what I’ve done is more and I just miss what Nate’s done. And there’s actually a whole bunch of research that says everyone does that. When we’re estimating how much time we spent on things, we’re actually way off. So when I say like, oh, man, this weekend I cleaned for an hour. It was probably like a half an hour. And I think about it a little bit, I don’t know if you’re a Calvin and Hobbes fan, but I definitely am.

Gabe Howard: I love Calvin and Hobbes.

Kaley Klemp: Ok, so have you seen the one where Calvin is counting his push-ups by how they feel? That’s how labor goes in marriage, right? So Calvin’s doing push-ups. He’s like one, two, twenty, a hundred. Man, that was a workout. It feels that way in marriage, too. Especially with child care and housework. Oh, my gosh. Every activity feels like more.

Gabe Howard: But how do you get around that? I get that we shouldn’t count favors. I understand that. It even sort of sounds wrong, but at the same time, I don’t want to be taken advantage of and I need to keep score somehow, which I know sounds all kinds of messed up. And it’s probably giving you great insight into my marriage. But how do you avoid that?

Dr. Nate Klemp: We’re arguing that if you stay anchored in this mindset of 50/50 fairness, it’s a recipe for the kind of conflict and resentment that we’ve been talking about that comes from keeping score. If, on the other hand, you do something radical and it is radical, which is why we call it radical generosity, it makes no sense, it is by definition unfair. But if you strive toward this idea of radical generosity where you’re trying to do more than your fair share, all sorts of really interesting things happen. Like all of a sudden there’s no longer this persistent conflict that’s going on in the background, and there’s this contagious spirit of generosity that starts to emerge in a relationship that can be really powerful. We like to say that just as resentment is contagious, radical generosity is also contagious, and it can create a kind of upward spiral that affects the entire culture of the relationship.

Gabe Howard: Now, if it’s radical, how do you get there, how do you implement this into your marriage?

Kaley Klemp: So there’s two easy-ish places to start, the first for radical generosity is around contribution. And we think about this is what you do in your relationship and it’s looking for ways that you can give in the relationship from radical generosity rather than keeping score. You think about it as a gift to your family, a gift to you as a couple. So you’re probably doing the same thing, your attitude is just really different. So I’m still washing the same dish at the end of dinner. But instead of being like, man, when I cook, I make way fewer dishes for Nate than he makes for me, instead of thinking it’s a gift to the family and it’s a gift to Nate and our daughter, that they get to play cards while I finish up in the kitchen. Part one is radical generosity and part two is appreciation. And it’s changing the glasses that you wear as you’re looking at your partner, that in some ways it’s easy to put on the glasses of finding fault where you catch them doing all the things that irritate you, all the ways they’re not measuring up or trying as hard. And instead I say go on a scavenger hunt looking for all the ways that your partner is awesome, looking for all the ways that they contribute. Because when you catch them doing something great and you thank them for it, it creates incentive to do more of it. By the way, these didn’t have to be enormous things. This is not like and then I got a half an hour massage and then I appreciated him for completely painting the house. These are things that are like thank you for turning on the coffee when you were in the kitchen first. It was so nice to not have to wait for it to heat up. Little things that make a huge difference.

Gabe Howard: When a couple implements this into their lives, what’s the first thing that they notice? And honestly by first thing that they notice, I want to know the first challenge that they have that makes them want to give this up.

Dr. Nate Klemp: Well, I think the biggest challenge is there can be an expectation that all you need to do is shift your mindset from 50/50 to 80/80, and you’ll be radically generous all the time and you’ll live in this state of marital bliss and you’ll be happy ever after. And the reality is that these are mental patterns that are so deeply ingrained that fairness never goes away. If a couple thinks like, oh, I’m never going to think about fairness again, I’m never going to keep score again, I’m going to be radically generous. They’re doomed to failure in some ways and I think the real challenge is to bring a bit of mindfulness to your experience of marriage, where you begin to just see that these thoughts about fairness are sort of the background of almost every relationship and they never go away. But if you can just see them as thoughts, there’s room to then shift your mindset to this idea of radical generosity. And so I think that’s both the biggest challenge, but also a pro-tip in a way, is to just become more mindful of the way your mind has been patterned to look for what’s fair, and use that as an opportunity to shift.

Gabe Howard: As I’m listening to this, I think to myself, oh, this is perfect, I don’t need this, I’m already generous and fair and kind. I’m a great husband. But sincerely, I know that even in my own marriage, there’s deficiencies. I would imagine that there’s deficiencies in probably most marriages because most people believe that their marriage is perfect. What is that? There was a study that said that, you know, 90 percent of people believe that they’re an above average driver.

Gabe Howard: Clearly, that can’t hold up. So is it like this for marriage? Would somebody like me who has the perfect marriage, and I say this tongue in cheek, benefit from this book? Because after all, I already believe that things are good.

Kaley Klemp: It’s so funny that you raise it this way, because one of the surprises that has shown up for us in writing this book is that there seems to be sort of a stigma around saying, hey, I could improve in my relationship. And so we think about 80/80 as an opportunity for couples who are doing well to be great and for couples who are struggling to have some more tools. So in some ways, wherever you are, there’s a way that 80/80 can help you. Many couples will consciously or unconsciously feel a little bit defensive about the idea of getting help in their relationship. And yet, to me, that seems sort of silly. It’s not like, hey, I’m going to buy a recipe book. Well, that must mean that there’s a real problem with your cooking. Let’s say they’re like, I’m going to buy a parenting book. Well, are you thinking about leaving your children? There’s sort of a really funny double standard around marriage. So I would say, yes, if you are already in a relationship where you’re communicating and feeling healthy, 80/80 has the opportunity to help you grow. And if you’re in a situation where you go, darn, I feel really stuck, hopefully there are some tips in here that can help you get unstuck and on that path to more connection.

Gabe Howard: And we’ll be right back after these messages.

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Gabe Howard: And we’re back with authors Nate and Kaley Klemp discussing their new book, “The 80/80 Marriage: A New Model for a Happier, Stronger Relationship.” I still want to go back to this idea that there’s nothing wrong, but specifically, what if one partner thinks there’s nothing wrong but the other partner is like, oh, I need this book. This is fantastic. How do you navigate that? Because I imagine that this is probably common. I don’t think that partners tend to both realize that they need a tune up or an adjustment or something looked at. It’s usually one person over the other. How do you get the defensive partner on board?

Kaley Klemp: Really, the question I hear you asking is, what do we do with one person’s really psyched about it and one person is a little bit more reluctant?

Gabe Howard: Yes.

Kaley Klemp: This showed up so much in our interviews that we actually wrote a whole chapter called The Reluctant Partner. There is an approach that the gentle way that you introduce this to your partner as, hey, I think that there are some ideas here that could take us from good to great, is much more available and exciting and non-threatening to a partner versus like, hey, you need to read this book because we’re messed up. Right? Instead, it’s to say, hey, how can we use some of these to be even better? If you’re in a situation where you try to raise it with your partner and what you get back is active defensiveness, why are you trying to mess up our relationship? This is working just great for me. Then we think that there’s actually sort of a stealth gift that’s possible in 80/80, which is in your own mind if you’re able to shift from man, I do all the work here and they’re, just the, you know, free rider and frame it for yourself where you’re still probably doing the same amount of work. But if you do it as a gift to the family and are able to go looking for things to be grateful for, sometimes it helps change the tenor where your partner becomes more available to the conversation about how you can grow.

Gabe Howard: What are the things that the couples notice when they first get started, what’s the first challenge that they work on together and what’s the first success?

Kaley Klemp: Well, so one of the first things that we encourage couples to work on together. In your question, I’m believing that this couple has said we’re in. We’re in for the mindset shift, we’re in for radical generosity. We want to create sort of the call and response of an act of contribution and appreciation. Then together, what they often construct are their values. How do we together want to define success? Because one of the things that we found really, really interesting in this book is that when you shift your mindset to radical generosity, you move out of winning as an individual. And instead it feels like a shared success that you win together. But there isn’t a single definition of what that success might be. So some couples are really about financial security and others are really about raising happy kids and some are really about adventure. There’s a couple we interviewed called the Honey-Trekkers who are on, I believe, year nine of their honeymoon. They are really about adventure and they’ve made some choices, like they don’t have children. And I don’t think that their 401K is that full. And just to be able to pursue that adventure, all of that is a long way to say that when couples are able to sit down and say, what is this chapter of our life about? How will we know that we’re in alignment with our vision for ourselves and our values together? That project unites them in feeling like when they do achieve things, it’s for the benefit of them together.

Gabe Howard: I’ve noticed that a lot of folks that listen to podcasts on the topic of like relationship improvement, etc., I would say 90 percent of the time, based on the feedback that we’re getting, it’s one partner that wants to, quote unquote, save the relationship with another partner that is.

Kaley Klemp: I think sometimes in a relationship where one person is working really hard on the relationship and it feels like their partner is reluctant, they can get discouraged, and that actually increases the amount of criticism that they bring to how they see their partner. And so by shifting their perspective where they’re looking for those moments, those glimpses of this is why I married you, this is why you’re fantastic and highlighting those, it does start to engage their partner more in the conversation.

Gabe Howard: I could not agree more. It’s really just that shifting, right?

Kaley Klemp: Yes.

Gabe Howard: It’s the difference between a goal and a deadline.

Kaley Klemp: Yes.

Gabe Howard: A goal is something that you achieve. A deadline is something that you miss.

Kaley Klemp: Yes.

Gabe Howard: But the results is the same. My goal is noon, I did it. My deadline is noon. Oh, it’s pushing down on me.

Kaley Klemp: Yeah.

Dr. Nate Klemp: Yeah.

Gabe Howard: Now, let’s move into success, so now they’re successful, they’ve been doing this for six months. What are some things that they see in their marriage improvement wise, that are both short term and long lasting?

Dr. Nate Klemp: There are a number of things that they might begin to see. The first is they’ll likely see a reduction in conflict, tension and resentment. As we’ve talked about, 50/50 is really a recipe for that. And a lot of the tools we’re offering here with radical generosity are way out of that. I’d say number one would be that reduction in conflict. But then number two, and this is really like the whole reason we wrote this book, is an increase in connection. Connection we think of as just the lifeblood of the relationship, that when we are connected, all sorts of good things happen. One, we start winning together, as Kaley talked about. But there’s also a really significant shift in intimacy. A lot of the reason couples are struggling to have a healthy life sexually is because there’s just a lack of connection or there’s so much resentment in the system that the last thing you want to do is start tearing each other’s clothes off. Right? There’s just a way in which becoming more connected and that feeling of being in love, it enhances the relationship on all sorts of levels. But it also has this sort of ripple effect to the entire family, that kids become happier. Your neighbors who you interact with may become happier because you don’t have that scowl on your face. There’s a way in which by changing our marriage, we like to say we’re changing the world because we’re changing the way we show up.

Gabe Howard: Now, I have a personal question for the two of you, because you wrote this as a married couple, did you run into anything surprising during your research that applied to your own relationship? And I guess did the 80/80 method work

Dr. Nate Klemp: Yes, well, first of all, it has been amazing for us this whole journey of writing this book coming up with these ideas together. We long ago made this pledge that we would never work together. We had a wall of separation between Kaley and Nate, as we called it, but we decided to write this book and it ended up being the best thing that’s ever happened to our marriage. The way that I think this really helped us was around power. And one of the key themes of this book is that if we’re looking to be equals and in love, fairness is a pretty clumsy technology. But if we look closely at power and the structures that underlie power in a relationship, that’s actually a really good way of achieving equality, that doesn’t require us to keep score and get into constant conflict. So for us, you know, we met at 17, but then really got together at twenty four, married at twenty six. And power was always this really interesting dynamic. Kaley early on was the higher earner. I was going to graduate school, she was working at Deloitte and then as an executive coach. There was some really interesting dynamics around power that I don’t think we fully understood until we wrote this book. And this book was a way of understanding that if we shift to this idea of a structure built on shared success and shared values, that becomes one of the most powerful ways of just achieving that balance between the two of us and achieving real equality.

Gabe Howard: Kaley, what are your thoughts on this?

Kaley Klemp: I think Nate really named it beautifully, living in the background of this power dynamic, fairness snuck in a lot where for me there was this experience of, like, you’re not trying as hard as I am or you’re not working as hard as I am. And instead of seeing it as a team effort, we actually we’re almost competing with each other. 80/80 really changed the way that I thought about how we were each contributing in our own way. So rather than both of us, for instance, trying to be the quarterback, sort of like, how can we be a team? You need a quarterback, but you also need a running back or wide receiver if you’re actually going to score. And so I think that power was a key piece. The other piece that really shifted for me is that my default thought process is still fairness. I’ll level with you, Gabe, I would say, at least once a day, I have some version of a thought that’s like, wait a second, that’s not fair. And having the language of radical generosity or 80/80 as a cue helps me go looking for. That story can either become something that I tell myself and then go looking for evidence of or something that I challenge. And when I have the thought that’s not fair, if in that moment I’m able to go radical generosity and look for evidence that Nate’s actually doing something generous for me, or on the whole that balance and connection is enhanced based on what I’m doing, it takes away the sting and it takes away the scorekeeping that I think characterized the way that I thought before we started this project.

Gabe Howard: What’s the one insight or practice, like the most important insight or practice that you hope couples take away from your book?

Dr. Nate Klemp: Yeah, I think it’s a two-tiered practice, but it starts with this idea of one radically generous act of contribution a day. So just doing one nice thing. This doesn’t have to be huge. You don’t have to take your partner to Bali or to some extravagant dinner. It could just be writing them a sticky note that says, I love you and putting it on their desk, something simple that can be transformative. And then the best way to follow that up.

Kaley Klemp: Is with appreciation. So when your partner does that one radically generous act, catch them doing that and appreciate it and really do go on that scavenger hunt where instead of just skipping over all of the ways that your partner is great in a day, appreciate them for the things that you might almost feel entitled to. Because when you shift that relationship to appreciation, it gets contagious.

Gabe Howard: I love that so much. Thank you both for being here. Where can folks find you and your book?

Dr. Nate Klemp: You can find the book, The 80/80 Marriage pretty much anywhere, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, local bookstores. We are at, that’s eight zero eight zero marriage dot com. We’re also on Instagram at 8080Marriage and Facebook. And we have a free newsletter where we offer weekly tips and suggestions and things like that. So that’s the best place to find us.

Gabe Howard: And I hope everybody checks that out and signs up. Thank you both so much for being here.

Dr. Nate Klemp: Thanks for having us.

Kaley Klemp: That’s a fun conversation. Thanks, Gabe.

Gabe Howard: And thank you to all of our listeners for being here as well. My name is Gabe Howard and I am the author of “Mental Illness Is an Asshole and Other Observations,” as well as a nationally recognized public speaker. It would be cool to have me at your next event. You can grab a signed copy of my book with free swag or learn more about me over at Please rank and review. And wherever you downloaded this podcast, please subscribe. Share us on social media, use your words and hey, tell other people why they should be listening to Inside Mental Health. I’ll see everybody next Thursday.

Inside Mental Health Podcast: The 80/80 Relationship Model - Psychology

1 School of Psychology & Center of Mental Health Education and Research, Jiangxi Normal University, Nanchang, China

2 Center of Mental Health Education and Research, Southwest University, Chongqing, China

Copyright © 2016 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).

Received 28 March 2016 accepted 7 May 2016 published 10 May 2016

Object: To explore the relationship between psychological suzhi and mental health among Chinese college students, and to gain psychological suzhi factors that are predictors for mental health. Method: By using stratified sampling method, an investigation was conducted among 734 subjects. They were assessed with the College Student Psychological Suzhi Scale (CSPS, including 3 subscales, 28 factors) and General Health Questionnaire-20 item (GHQ-20, including 3 subscales). Results: 1) Psychological suzhi score for Chinese college students had negative correlation with the score of GHQ-20, GHQ-depression and GHQ-anxiety (p < 0.001), and positive correlation with the score of GHQ-self-affirmation (p < 0.001) 2) Psychological suzhi score for Chinese college students was predictor of the score for GHQ-20 and its subscales namely GHQ-self-affirmation, GHQ-de- pression, and GHQ-anxiety (β = −0.448, 0.439, −0.262, −0.259, p < 0.001) the variance explained by the score of GHQ-20 and its subscales were 19.9%, 19.1%, 6.7%, 6.5% 3) There were 12 psychological suzhi factors that were predictors for GHQ-self-affirmation which was known as the positive indicator of mental health (p < 0.05) 11 psychological suzhi factors were predictors for GHQ-depression and GHQ-anxiety which was known as the negative indicator of mental health (p < 0.05). Conclusion: There exists a correlation between psychological suzhi and mental health, particularly in positive mental health. Indeed, the psychological suzhi factors are able to enhance the pertinence of mental health education.

Chinese College Students, Mental Health, Psychological Suzhi, Dual-Factor Model of Mental Health

As a relatively higher educational group, college students are the main impetus to the development of countries in the future. Therefore, the development of contemporary college students is always concerned by a community. In the several factors which can influence the development of college students, the requirement for finishing school smoothly and adapting to society is mental health [1] . But under the exam-oriented education, middle schools tend to ignore the cultivation of students’ inside mental feeling and psychological suzhi [2] . Along with the increasingly drastic social competition (external stress events faced by individuals was increased), and the increasingly divorce rate (social support system owned by individuals was broken or reduced), students can’t adjust their mental situation more and more. This negative result carries on to college the level of college freshmen’s mental health was relatively steady from 1986 to 2010 despite the government’s spending on the students’ mental health education more and more, however their mental health situation did not get positive [3] . To sum up, discussing how to improve mental health level of college students effectively is imminent.

Chinese scholars put forward the concept of psychological suzhi for how to improve mental health status of college students. Psychological suzhi is based on the physiological condition, internalizes the obtained stimuli from external world as psychological quality which is stable, basic, and implicit, has basic, derived and development capabilities, and keeps in close contact with social adaptive behavior and creative behavior. Psychological suzhi is a mental quality system, which consists of three dimensions namely cognition quality, personality quality, and adaptability (adaptive capacity). There are crucial differences between psychological suzhi and mental health: psychological suzhi is a kind of “quality”, and mental health is a kind of “state”. Psychological suzhi is an endogenous element of mental health, which can be seen as psychological fitness (constitution) of individual fitness (constitution) [4] - [6] . Cognition quality refers to individual characteristics which express in the cognitive process. Personality quality refers to personality characteristics which express in everyday life. Cognition quality and personality quality are all content elements of psychological suzhi. Adaptability (adaptive capacity) is theoretically an individual on the basis of cognitive quality and personality quality through interaction within a specific situation which includes the selection, adaptation and change in the environment. It is the habitual behaviour when an individual is able to get along well with the surroundings. It belongs to the function elements of psychological suzhi [6] . The relationship between psychological suzhi and mental health was discussed by many researchers since the concept of psychological suzhi has been put forward. The theoretical research of the relationship showed that “psychological suzhi is a trait, but mental health is a state, the state is unable to change itself, the only way to change state is to change quality [7] ”, and also emphasized that “psychological suzhi is endogenous, mental health is reactive”. Therefore, the fundamental way to improve mental health condition is to enhance psychological suzhi [5] [8] [9] . Emerging research suggests that individuals who have higher psychological suzhi suffer from less stress, and they can recover by themselves when they face stress. Instead, individuals who have lower psychological suzhi suffer from more stress, and they cannot recover by themselves easily [6] . In the relevant empirical research, these points have been confirmed. Wang and Zhang suggested that middle school students with higher psychological suzhi had a higher level of mental health, and psychological suzhi is a protective factor in the process that external events influence individual mental health [10] . Other studies also provide support for the significant association between psychological suzhi and mental health, such as there existed a significant correlation between psychological suzhi and mental health among army’s young soldiers [11] . However, there is a lack of related empirical research for Chinese college students.

In conclusion, this study proposes to have a systematic empirical research for the relationship between psychological suzhi and mental health among College students, based on the theory of the relationship [6] [9] . In the previous research, College students’ mental health was mostly measured by negative mental health scale, such as SCL-90 [12] . However previous studies on the connotative structure of mental health showed that the mental health includes positive and negative two important aspects, not only is the absence of mental illness, or the high-level subject well-being, but also is a complete state by combining the two, namely compete mental health [13] - [15] . From this perspective, the present study proposes to explore the relationship between psychological suzhi and the mental health indicators of positive and negative, and to investigate the influence of the factors on psychological suzhi to mental health, screen some factors which have greater influence on mental health, provide the basis for enhancing the pertinence of mental health education.

By using stratified sampling method, investigation was conducted among 734 Chinese college students, they were from 9 areas: Shandong Province, Hebei Province, Anhui Province, Zhejiang Province, Hunan Province, Sichuan Province, Guangdong Province, Shanghai municipality, and Chongqing municipality. This test was approved by the School Academic Ethic Committee, subjects signed the informed consent before the investigation, they can decide whether to participant in test regarding to their wishes. A total of 734 questionnaires were issued, some questionnaires which answered incompletely, answered all consistently, and answer was obviously regular were neglected, then according to the degree of lying (total score was 4 - 20, the mean was 11.48 ± 2.52) and the degree of answer seriously (total score was 3 - 15, the mean was 12.28 ± 2.24), acquired 617 effective questionnaires, and effective rate was 84.0%. It included 238 men (38.6%), 372 women (60.3%), and 7 subjects did not write. There were 227 freshmen (36.8%), 200 sophomore students (32.4%), and 187 junior students (30.3%). Subjects between 16 and 24 years of age (mean = 19.62, SD = 1.30).

2.2.1. College Student Psychological Suzhi Scale (CSPS)

College Student Psychological Suzhi Scale (CSPS) was developed by Zhang Dajun team to measure psychological suzhi among college students [16] . After confirming the essential differences of psychological suzhi and psychological health [6] , this scale was established successfully on the basic structure of the structure of psychological suzhi proposed by Zhang et al. for more than two years. Referring to the principle of mental quality, the writer collected topics according to usually and stably habitual behavior tendency and typical behavior characteristics. This scale can examine the picture of college students’ psychological suzhi comprehensively from cognition to personality, diagnose underlying cause of college students’ mental problem. It is an important tool to effectively assess the mental health of mental health education among college students. This scale consists of 118 items and adopts 5-point scoring method (1 = strongly disagree, 2 = relatively disagree, 3 = uncertainty, 4 = relatively agree, 5 = strongly agree). It is composed of 3 subscales: (1) Cognition Quality, it consists of 44 items, includes 12 factors such as accuracy of reaction (2) Personality Quality, it consists of 37 items, includes 10 factors such as knowledge seeking of motivation (3) Adaptability, it consists of 30 items, includes 6 factors such as learning adaptability. Please refer to specific factors in Table 1. In present study, the Cronbach alphas of three subscales and total scale were 0.941, 0.871, 0.910, and 0.960, respectively.

2.2.2. General Health Questionnaire-20 Item (GHQ-20)

General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-20) was developed by Li Hong and Mei Jinrong to measure mental health in recent weeks [17] . This scale consists of 20 items, and it is composed of 3 subscales: (1) GHQ-self-affirmation, (2) GHQ-depression, and (3) GHQ-anxiety. The scale adopts yes-no scoring method (1 = yes, 0 = no). In present study, the Cronbach alphas of total scale were 0.755, and the Cronbach alphas of three subscales were respectively 0.601, 0.676, and 0.694.

All data were managed and analysed by SPSS version 18.0. Statistical method includes descriptive statistics, correlation analysis, and regression analysis.

3.1. Correlation Analysis between Chinese College Students’ Psychological Suzhi and Mental Health

The score of psychological suzhi and three subscales are shown in Table 1: cognition quality, personality quality, adaptability existed positive correlation with the score of GHQ-self-affirmation (p < 0.001), and existed negative correlation with the sore of GHQ-20, GHQ-depression and GHQ-anxiety (p < 0.001).

Table 1 . Correlation analysis between Chinese college students’ psychological suzhi and mental health.

Note: * p < 0.05, ** p < 0.01, *** p < 0.001.

3.2. Linear Regression Analysis between Psychological Suzhi and Mental Health among Chinese College Students

3.2.1. Linear Regression Analysis between the Total Score of Psychological Suzhi and Mental Health among Chinese College Students

In the linear regression analysis, GHQ-20, GHQ-self-affirmation, GHQ-depression and GHQ-anxiety are used as the dependent variable, and the score of psychological suzhi are defined as the independent variable (see Table 2). Psychological suzhi was significant predictor for GHQ-20, GHQ-self-affirmation, GHQ-depression, and GHQ-anxiety (β = −0.448, 0.439, −0.262, −0.259, p < 0.001). The variance of Chinese college students’ psychological suzhi explained were 19.9%, 19.1%, 6.7%, and 6.5%, respectively.

3.2.2. Linear Regression Analysis between Cognition Quality of Psychological Suzhi and Mental Health among Chinese College Students

The result of the linear regression analysis indicated that the score of cognition quality of psychological suzhi was significant predictor for GHQ-20, GHQ-self-affirmation, GHQ-depression, and GHQ-anxiety (β = −0.357, 0.381, −0.160, −0.196, p < 0.001). Cognition quality accounted for the variance was respectively 12.6%, 14.3%, 2.4%, and 3.7%.

Upon further multivariate linear regression analysis, the result showed that 7 factors of cognition quality went into the equation of GHQ-20 and three subscales. A table is shown below regarding to the results (see Table 3).

Table 2 . Linear regression analysis between the total score of psychological suzhi and mental health among Chinese college students.

Note: * p < 0.05, ** p < 0.01, *** p < 0.001.

Table 3 . Linear regression analysis between cognition quality of psychological suzhi and mental health among Chinese college students.

Note: * p < 0.05, ** p < 0.01, *** p < 0.001.

3.2.3. Linear Regression Analysis between Personality Quality of Psychological Suzhi and Mental Health among Chinese College Students

The result of the linear regression analysis showed that the score of personality quality of psychological suzhi was significant predictor for GHQ-20, GHQ-self-affirmation, GHQ-depression, and GHQ-anxiety (β = −0.473, 0.412, −0.335, −0.299, p < 0.001). Personality quality accounted for the variance was respectively 22.2%, 16.8%, 11.0%, and 8.8%.

Upon further multivariate linear regression analysis, the result showed that 8 factors of personality quality went into the equation of GHQ-20 and three subscales. A table is shown below regarding to the results (see Table 4).

3.2.4. Linear Regression Analysis between Adaptability of Psychological Suzhi and Mental Health among Chinese College Students

The result of linear regression analysis showed that the score of adaptability of psychological suzhi was significant predictor for GHQ-20, GHQ-self-affirmation, GHQ-depression, and GHQ-anxiety (β = −0.376, 0.392, −0.199, −0.194, p < 0.001). Personality quality accounted for the variance was respectively 14.0%, 15.2%, 3.80%, and 3.60%.

Upon further multivariate linear regression analysis, the result showed that 3 factors of adaptability went into the equation of GHQ-20 and three subscales. A table is shown below regarding to the results (see Table 5).

The results of correlation analysis displayed that there was a significant correlation between Chinese college students’ psychological suzhi and mental health, which was similar to the existing research [8] [10] [11] . Likewise, the result also indicated that the correlation between psychological suzhi and its three dimensions with GHQ-self-affirmation was higher than the correlation between psychological suzhi and its three dimensions with GHQ-depression and GHQ-anxiety. With few exceptions, the factors of three psychological dimensions presented

Table 4 . Linear regression analysis between personality quality of psychological suzhi and mental health among Chinese college students.

Note: * p < 0.05, ** p < 0.01, *** p < 0.001.

Table 5 . Linear regression analysis between adaptability of psychological suzhi and mental health among Chinese college students.

Note: * p < 0.05, ** p < 0.01, *** p < 0.001.

the same rule. According to the theory of complete mental health [13] - [15] , GHQ-self-affirmation can be considered positive indicator of mental health, GHQ-depression and GHQ-anxiety can be considered negative indicator of mental health. Taken together, the result was observed that the relationship between psychological suzhi and positive mental health condition is closer, and developmental function of psychological suzhi may be higher than therapeutic function. Existing research usually used the subject well-being and the meaning in life as the metric of positive mental health [18] [19] , this research only used GHQ-self-affirmation to measure positive mental health. Therefore, this conclusion needs to confirm from further study.

The results of regression analysis indicated that psychological suzhi and its three dimensions were significant predictors for GHQ-20 and its three subscales. This reveals that College students’ psychological suzhi has powerful impact on both positive and negative indicator of mental health. The results complement empirical study about the relationship of psychological suzhi and mental health [10] [11] [20] , and support the educational concept which improve mental health condition among College students by improving psychological suzhi [21] . Meanwhile, the results indicated that the variance of GHQ-self-affirmation explained by psychological suzhi and its three dimensions among Chinese college students is higher, we can observe that the relationship between psychological suzhi and positive mental health condition is closer. This point is identical to correlation analysis, and does not be repeated here.

The results of regression analysis also indicated that, in the three dimensions of psychological suzhi, personality quality had the most impact on mental health and its three subscales, it accounted for the total variance was 22.2%. Personality quality is dynamic ingredient of psychological suzhi, it does not participate in concrete operations directly, but it has dynamic effect and adjustment function to cognitive performance [4] [5] [22] [23] . The results show that personality quality, as dynamic ingredient, is greater predictor for mental health than cognition quality and adaptability. This point gets the same result with the study among middle school students [10] . This enlighten that we can give priority to train personality quality for college students.

Another outcome of this study is to obtain psychological suzhi factors which are significant predictors for GHQ-20, GHQ-self-affirmation, GHQ-depression, and GHQ-anxiety by adopting multiple linear regression analysis method. There are 12 psychological suzhi factors are significant predictors for GHQ-self-affirmation which was viewed as positive indicator of mental health. The 12 factors can positively predict GHQ-self-affir- mation except achievement of motivation. Achievement of motivation refers to the desire of succeed as the impetus to move forward, belongs to the motivation which shows goal orientation. This means that you will reduce the degree of self-affirmation, and neglect experience of successes and failures, if you do not obtain achievement which you expect. There are 11 psychological suzhi factors are significant predictors for GHQ-depression and GHQ-anxiety, all of them are positive predictors for GHQ-depression and GHQ-anxiety which were regarded as negative indicator of mental health. The reason could be found as the following. The higher strength to monitor the own method and so on, the easier way to discover own shortcomings, hence it could cause the depression degree due to the strong dissatisfaction of self. In this case the resting-sate which is a part of depression may have the similar component with this state. In the screened factors, teleonomy of practice, experience of emotion, experience of self, achievement of motivation, social adaptability and living adaptability were significant predictors for positive and negative indicator of mental health at the same time. It is believed that these 6 factors are core indicators to predict complete mental health condition, can be considered first in college students’ mental health education.

This study confirmed that psychological suzhi plays a role in mental health, and obtained psychological suzhi factors which were significant predictors. This point provides a good way to carry on specific mental health education. But this study also has its limitation. Current study only adopted cross-sectional survey method, if we want to provide valid proof which is based on the time for the relationship and predicted effect of psychological suzhi and mental health, we need to conduct further longitudinal survey.

1) There exists a significant correlation between Chinese college students’ psychological suzhi and mental health, meaning that a significant correlation between psychological suzhi and complete mental health exists. Relative to negative mental health, the relationship between psychological suzhi and positive mental health is closer.

2) The three dimensions of college students’ psychological suzhi are significant predictors for mental health condition. Relative to cognition quality and adaptability, personality quality is a greater predictor for mental health condition.

3) There are 23 factors of psychological suzhi that are significant predictors for negative and positive indicator of mental health. In these factors, teleonomy of practice, experience of emotion, experience of self, achievement of motivation, social adaptability, and living adaptability all have effect for negative and positive mental health, and are core factors to influence mental health.

This study was supported by the Science foundation for Young Scholars of Jiangxi Province (20151BAB- 215033), the postdoctoral Science Foundation of Jiangxi Province (2014KY52, 2014RC11), and Dr. Start-up fund project of Jiangxi normal university (the concise psychological suzhi scale establishment and its mechanism of action research on mental health).

Xinqiang Wang,Xueqi Zhang,Dajun Zhang, (2016) The Relationship between Psychological Suzhi and Mental Health among Chinese College Students. Journal of Biosciences and Medicines,04,21-29. doi: 10.4236/jbm.2016.45002


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Researchers suggest that there are steps that may help mitigate some of the negative mental health effects of quarantine.

Establish Routines

The disruption in your normal daily routines can be one of the most difficult aspects of quarantine. This can leave you feeling directionless as you try to figure out how to fill all the hours of the day.

If you’re working from home, it can be helpful to structure your time much like a regular workday. This can be a challenge, however, if you're at home with other family members, including children, who are now home all day as well. Left without the structure of a normal school day, kids can be left feeling just as out-of-sorts as adults.

If you’re trying to keep small kids entertained while stuck in the house, or even trying to keep working amidst it all, it’s important to find a routine that works for you. Plan out activities that will keep everyone busy so you can get some work done. Try creating a daily schedule, but don't get too wrapped up in sticking to a strict routine. Make your own routines and break up the day in order to stave off monotony.

Be as Active as Possible

Even relatively short periods of physical inactivity can have an impact on your health, both mentally and physically. One study found that just two weeks of inactivity could lead to reductions in muscle mass and metabolic effects.  

Fortunately, there are plenty of at-home workout ideas that can help keep you moving even when you are stuck inside the house. Your quarantine may be brief, but staying active may help you feel better and maintain your fitness levels. It’s also a great way to help combat the sense of malaise and boredom that can come from being stuck inside day after day.

At-Home Workout Ideas

You don't need a bunch of expensive workout equipment to get a good workout. Here are just a few things you can do to stay in shape at home:

Combat Frustration and Boredom

Some of the distress of being quarantined stems from boredom and frustration. Finding ways to stay occupied is important, so try to maintain as many of your routines as you can. Keep working on projects or find new activities to fill your time, whether it’s organizing your closet or trying out a new creative hobby.

Getting things done can provide a sense of purpose and competency. It gives you something to work towards and something to look forward to each day. So make a plan, list some things you’d like to accomplish, and then start checking a few things off your list each day.


Staying in contact with other people not only staves off boredom, but it is also critical for minimizing the sense of isolation.   Stay in touch with friends and family by phone and text. Reach out to others on social media. If possible, join a support group or discussion board specifically for people who are in quarantine. Talking to others who are going through the same thing can provide a sense of community and empowerment.

Ideas for Staying Connected

  • Eat regular meals with others in the home
  • Check-in with friends and family each day by phone
  • Use different forms of communication including phone, text, email, messaging, and videocall
  • Try supporting others reassure a friend who feeling stressed out or worried
  • Use social networks such as Twitter and Discord to stay connected to others

Stay Informed, But Not Overwhelmed

People tend to experience greater anxiety when they feel like they don’t have access to the information that they need. On the other hand, however, is the sense of panic that can stem from being immersed 24/7 in reports that focus on inaccurate or overly negative information. Rather than spend your time watching cable news, focus on getting helpful information from trusted sources. Sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), state and local health departments, and your doctor can all be helpful.

Remember That Kids Are Stressed, Too

Research has found that children who had been through quarantine had exhibited PTSD symptoms at four times the rate of children who had not been quarantined.  

The CDC recommends that parents and other adults talk to children about the COVID-19 outbreak in a way that is informative, age-appropriate, and reassuring.   Focus on maintaining a sense of structure at home and model healthy, positive behaviors. Managing your own anxiety can help calm the fears of children in your home.

Remember Why You’re Doing This

When you are feeling frustrated or cooped up, it can be helpful to think about the reasons why you are quarantining yourself. If you have been potentially exposed to coronavirus, avoiding others is an altruistic action. You minimize the chance that you might unknowingly spread the illness to other people, even if you are currently asymptomatic.

Flattening the Curve

Slowing the spread of the illness helps keep the number of sick people at a level that hospitals are able to treat. If infection rates spike abruptly as the disease spreads, hospitals and health care workers can be overwhelmed and unable to adequately treat everyone.

By doing your part to prevent the spread of the disease, you are protecting others and making sure that those who are sick are able to have greater access to available health resources. Reminding yourself of these reasons can sometimes make your days in quarantine a little easier to bear.

Publisher's Summary

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Payment Options

Who will pay for your inpatient treatment? This depends on a lot of factors.

If you have insurance, your policy may cover the bill. If not, Medicare, Medicaid, or your state’s department of mental health may pay for your treatment.

Some programs are very expensive and are rarely covered by insurance. If, like most people, you are worried about the cost of your treatment, talk to your health insurance company or contact your state’s public health insurance program.

Changes and the future

While MASI wants Direct Provision abolished, and the IRC looks to alternatives which include a not-for-profit model, both Nasc and Doras Luimní advocate for other more immediate changes such as a roll-out of national standards and an independent monitoring system, so residents can make complaints comfortably.

“Progress has been made in recent years, but Doras remains convinced that the existing system is unfit for purpose,” said Aideen Roche from Doras Luimní.

“Grave concerns have been raised about the living conditions and treatment of people living in Direct Provision, but their issues have not come to the fore through a complaints and monitoring system.

“In the absence of a monitoring system, the reality of living in direct provision and the challenges people have only become known because people have spoken out through the media or through advocacy groups,” she said.

“There is a (complaints) procedure now, but a complaint must first be reported to the centre (in question). People are afraid of the repercussions,” she added.

Meanwhile Nasc points to lack of a proper and uniform standards procedure as highly problematic.

“Direct provision is the only residential setting in Ireland that doesn’t have national standards. That is a work in progress.

"There isn’t a body in place yet but the Minister (for Justice, Charlie Flanagan) has committed to doing it.

“Current inspections are only inspected on health and safety grounds. Inspections are carried out by RIA (the Reception and Integration Agency) themselves and QTS, a private health and safety firm, contracted by RIA.

“There is a vast disparity from centre to centre,” said Jennifer DeWan from Nasc.

A ray of hope

I’d had several different types of talking therapy including counselling, CBT and long-term psychodynamic therapy. Some of these had been helpful but I still felt something was missing. I’d been in and out of the NHS system for over three years. I’d tried meditation, medication, exercise, putting my career on hold, online courses and countless self-help strategies. I had begun to give up hope of ever feeling normal again.

Although hard to digest for the first few weeks, the diagnosis gave me hope that one day things would get better. My huge highs and lows started to make sense, as did my interpersonal difficulties, self-sabotaging anxiety and highly critical inner voice tearing me down daily. The diagnosis seemed to fit. The funny thing is, I sometimes felt deep down that there was something more serious and complex happening inside of me all along.

Inside Mental Health Podcast: The 80/80 Relationship Model - Psychology

To evaluate and descriptive in nature, the current issue of mental health services in Saudi Arabia, this study examined the influence of areas awareness, roles, aims, effectiveness, referrals, and personal development, and individuals level characteristic among psychiatrists’ in Saudi Arabia.


The questionnaire for this study was used from January 2008 to April 2009. In addition, the sample were (n = 158) psychiatrists. Demographic data, gender, age, nationality qualification and experience were compared between four Mental Health hospitals in Saudi Arabia.


From total of 158 Psychiatrists, 90% have a very strong awareness of their aims and objectives, while, no statistically significant differences were found related to gender, age, nationality, qualifications, and experience. It has found that significant different between psychiatrists in their roles and responsibilities, clinical out-come, and personal developments (P = 0.00).


This study demonstrate the significant different among psychiatrists, in four mental health hospitals. Psychiatrists saw their roles and responsibility, referral system and effectiveness as not being clear and they are supporting the idea of having more training and qualifications.

Watch the video: Inside Health Care July 2019 (January 2022).