Disadvantaged Youths’ Subjective Well-Being: The Role of Gender, Age, and Multiple Social Support Attunement

  • Carina Mendonça
  • Francisco SimõesEmail author


This paper explores the relationship between gender, age, Multiple Social Support Attunement (MSSA), and disadvantaged youths’ Subjective Well-Being (SWB). MSSA is defined as social support patterns regarding multiple sources. In this study, MSSA patterns included closest family member, mentor, and best friend support. SWB was measured in terms of quality-of-life, social anxiety, and depression. Two hundred and thirty-six adolescents aged between 12 and 18 years old (M = 14.10; SD = 1.78; 60.20% boys) participated in this study. A three-class solution was retained after Latent Class Analysis (LCA) was conducted, guaranteeing a more balanced participant distribution and a more feasible comparison between MSSA patterns. Further analyses showed that MSSA patterns were associated with disadvantaged youths’ quality-of-life, social anxiety and depression, regardless of age and gender effects. These associations were more generalized and systematic than those between gender or age and the selected well-being indicators. High MSSA also emerged as an optimal pattern to improve disadvantaged youths’ SWB, especially among early adolescents. Recommendations are made to improve MSSA assessment in social interventions, as well as to promote cross-generational activities that may help to activate high MSSA shared by peers and significant adults.


Multiple social support Well-being Quality-of-life Social anxiety Depression 



This work was funded by a research grant from the Foundation for Science and Technology (SFRH/BPD/99616/2014). The authors wish to thank to Programa Escolhas and to all the participants.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL), CIS-IULLisboaPortugal

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