Is Extremely High Life Satisfaction During Adolescence Advantageous?
- First Online:
- 847 Downloads
This study examined whether extremely high life satisfaction was associated with adaptive functioning or maladaptive functioning. Six hundred ninety-eight secondary level students completed the Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale [Huebner, 1991a, School Psychology International, 12, pp. 231–240], Youth Self-Report of the Child Behavior Checklist [Achenbach and Edelbrock, 1991, Child Behavior Checklist and Youth Self-Report, Burlington, VT], Abbreviated Junior Eysenck Personality Questionnaire [Francis, 1996, Personality and Individual Differences, 21, pp. 835–844], Self-Efficacy Questionnaire for Children (Muris, 2001, Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assesment, 23(3), pp. 145–149], and the Child and Adolescent Social Support Scale (Malecki and Demaray, 2002, Psychology in Schools, 39, pp. 1–18]. Three groups of students were created based on their life satisfaction reports: very high (top 10%), average (middle 25%), and very low (lowest 10%). Compared to students with average life satisfaction, students with very high life satisfaction had higher levels on all indicators of adaptive psychosocial functioning, except extraversion. Moreover, students with very high satisfaction had the lowest scores on all measures of emotional and behavioral problems. However, rates of clinical levels of behavior problems did not differ significantly between the very high and average groups. Finally, several necessary, but not sufficient factors for very high life satisfaction were identified. Taken together, the findings support the notion that very high life satisfaction is associated with positive psychosocial functioning. Furthermore, adolescents’ reports of their life satisfaction revealed differences in adjustment that were not captured by measures of psychopathology.
Keywordssubjective well-being life satisfaction adolescents secondary students mental health psychosocial adjustment
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Achenbach, T.M. 1991Manual for the Youth Self-Report and 1991 ProfileUniversity of Vermont Department of PsychiatryBurlington, VTGoogle Scholar
- Achenbach, T.M., Edelbrock, C.S. 1991Child Behavior Checklist and Youth Self-ReportAuthor BurlingtonVTGoogle Scholar
- Ash, C., Huebner, E.S. 2001Environmental events and life satisfaction reports of adolescents: A test of cognitive mediationSchool Psychology International22320336Google Scholar
- Bender, T.A. 1997
Assessment of subjective well-being during childhood and adolescencePhye, G.D. eds. Handbook of Classroom Assessment: Learning, Achievement, and AdjustmentAcademic PressSan Diego, CA199225Google Scholar
- Cohen, J. 1988Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral SciencesErlbaumHillsdale, NJGoogle Scholar
- Diener, E., Lucas, R.E., Oishi, S. 2002
Subjective well-being: The science of happiness and life satisfactionSnyder, C.R.Lopez, S. eds. Handbook of Positive PsychologyOxford University PressLondon463473Google Scholar
- Gilman, R., Huebner, E.S. 1997Children’s reports of their life satisfactionSchool Psychology International18229243Google Scholar
- Huebner, E.S. 1991aInitial development of the Students’ Life Satisfaction ScaleSchool Psychology International12231240Google Scholar
- Huebner, E.S. 1991bCorrelates of life satisfaction in childrenSchool Psychology Quarterly6103111Google Scholar
- Huebner, E.S., Funk, B.A., Gilman, R. 2000Cross-sectional and longitudinal psychosocial correlates of adolescent life satisfaction reportsCanadian Journal of School Psychology165364Google Scholar
- Huebner, E. S., S. M. Suldo and R. Gilman (in press). Life satisfaction. In G. Bear K. Minke (eds.), Children’s Needs III. Bethesda, MD: National Association of School PsychologistsGoogle Scholar
- Malecki, C.K., Demaray, M.K., Elliot, S.N. 2000A working manual on the development of the Child and Adolescent Social Support ScaleNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalb, ILGoogle Scholar
- Schwartz, R.M., Garamoni, G.L. 1986
A structural model of positive and negative states of mind: Asymmetry in the internal dialogueKendall, P.C. eds. Advances in Cognitive-Behavioral Research and Therapy5Academic PressNew York162Google Scholar
- Valois, R.F., Zullig, K.J., Huebner, E.S., Drane, J.W. 2001Relationship between life satisfaction and violent behaviors among adolescentsAmerican Journal of Health Behavior25353366Google Scholar