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Child Indicators Research

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 439–458 | Cite as

Do Intelligence, Intensity of Felt Emotions and Emotional Regulation Have an Impact on Life Satisfaction? A Quali-quantitative Study on Subjective Wellbeing with Italian Children Aged 8–11

  • Nicoletta Businaro
  • Francisco Pons
  • Ottavia Albanese
Article

Abstract

According to the hedonic perspective of Positive Psychology and based on children’s literature, the aim of the present study is twofold: to investigate the factors which could elicit a sense of wellbeing in children; to assess the impact of personal factors (non-verbal intelligence, positive/negative emotions and regulation of positive/negative emotions) on children’s satisfaction in life. The participants were 132 Italian children between the ages of 8 and 11. Content analysis and quantitative analysis were conducted. Analysis of word associations revealed that the term wellbeing was associated with family, school, friendship, sports, the emotion of happiness, enjoyment, company, relaxation and feeling loved and protected. Analysis of specific typical associations revealed that females were more likely to describe wellbeing in socio-emotional terms (love/feeling safe) and boys in terms of play. Furthermore, the regression analyses showed that intensity of felt emotions had an impact on life satisfaction, while capacity to regulate emotions and non-verbal intelligence did not. It also pointed out the gender differences in subjective wellbeing: in boys the intensity of positive emotions triggered satisfaction with self; while in girls, the level of life satisfaction was explained both by high intensity of positive emotions and by low intensity of negative emotions. The results are discussed in order to highlight the importance of measuring and monitoring children’s life satisfaction to foster optimal conditions of life and to prevent maladaptive adjustment.

Keywords

Children Life satisfaction Intensity of emotions Non-verbal intelligence Emotion regulation 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicoletta Businaro
    • 1
  • Francisco Pons
    • 2
  • Ottavia Albanese
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Human SciencesUniversity of Milan BicoccaMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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