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Youth Developmental Assets and Perceived Life Satisfaction: Is There a Relationship?

  • Robert F. ValoisEmail author
  • Keith J. Zullig
  • E. Scott Huebner
  • J. Wanzer Drane
Article

Abstract

This study explored associations between youth developmental assets (i.e., support by parents/other adults; accountability to adults; empowerment; school support; values regarding risk behaviors; quantity of other adult support; empathetic relationships) and adolescents’ perceptions of overall life satisfaction. Public high school students (N = 3,477) completed a self-report questionnaire. Analyses were conducted to examine relationships between developmental assets and perceived life satisfaction while controlling for socioeconomic status. Results indicated that significant (p ≤ .05) associations were established for perceived support by parents/other adults for all four race/gender groups, self and peer values regarding risk behavior for black females, quality of other adult support for black males and white females and life satisfaction for adolescents. Significant (p ≤ .05) associations were also established for perceived support by parents/other adults for White males and Black males, accountability to parents/other adults for White females, quality of other adult support for White males and Black females and for empathetic relationships for all four race/gender groups. Results suggest that perceived life satisfaction is related to youth developmental assets, although moderated by gender and race differences. Further research is necessary to identify the particular characteristics of youth and specific aspects of adolescent life satisfaction associated with youth developmental assets in order to develop gender appropriate and culturally sensitive health promotion programs.

Keywords

Adolescents Developmental assets Life satisfaction Quality of life 

Notes

Acknowledgment

This study was supported through funds provided by the General Assembly “County Grants Fund Program for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Initiatives,” administered by the South Carolina Department of Social Services. The following AAHB Survey items, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 67, 69, 70, 71, 73, 85, 86, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, from the Search Institute Profiles of Student Life: Attitudes and Behaviors, copyright 1996, Search Institute, Minneapolis, MN, were used with permission.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V./The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert F. Valois
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Keith J. Zullig
    • 3
  • E. Scott Huebner
    • 4
  • J. Wanzer Drane
    • 5
  1. 1.Health Promotion, Education & Behavior, Arnold School of Public HealthUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Family & Preventive Medicine, School of MedicineUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Community MedicineSchool of Medicine West Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  4. 4.School Psychology, Department of PsychologyUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  5. 5.Biostatistics, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Arnold School of Public HealthUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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