, Volume 98, Issue 3, pp 519-532
Date: 20 Dec 2009

Very Happy Youths: Benefits of Very High Life Satisfaction Among Adolescents

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Abstract

This study investigated the characteristics of adolescents reporting very high levels of life satisfaction. Participants (N = 410) were divided into three life satisfaction groups: very high (top 10%), average (middle 25%), and very low (lowest 10%). Results revealed that very happy youths had significantly higher mean scores on all included school, interpersonal, and intrapersonal variables, and significantly lower mean scores on depression, negative affect, and social stress than youths with average and very low levels of life satisfaction. Life meaning, gratitude, self-esteem, and positive affect were found to have a significantly more positive influence on global life satisfaction for the very unhappy than the very happy. Findings suggest that very unhappy youths would benefit most from focused interventions aimed at boosting those variables having the most influence on their level of life satisfaction. Results are discussed in light of previous findings and suggestions for future directions are briefly discussed.