Perceived Social Support, School Adaptation and Adolescents’ Subjective Well-Being

  • José M. Tomás
  • Melchor Gutiérrez
  • Ana María Pastor
  • Patricia SanchoEmail author


Positive psychology has promoted well-being research in adolescents. However, there is not enough research about the determinants of well-being at school. Specifically, the determinants of academic performance have been investigated in depth, to the detriment of the determinants of subjective well-being. Research in this area highlights the importance of social support received, and school adaptation. However, there is still a lack of comprehensive studies on perceived support, students’ adaptation and their subjective well-being in complex multivariate models. The aim of this research is to analyze the influence of the perceived social support from different sources (parents, teachers and friends) on adolescents’ subjective well-being, mediated by their school adaptation, in a sample of 1035 students in the city of Lima. An a priori structural model with latent variables was tested, with a reasonable, but not excellent fit. According to modification indexes, there was a strong link of family support on well-being, and therefore, this new direct effect was added in order to improve model fit. This final model predicts well-being with three social support measures. This association is partially mediated by school adjustment and academic achievement, while controlling for age and gender. Each source of support influences aspects of the school context differently. School adjustment had a relevant mediational role in the relationship among social support sources and well-being. In addition, women and younger students showed better school adaptation and subjective well-being. These results show the importance of working in promoting education that pursues the happiness of the students, not only the academic qualifications.


Family support Teacher support Friends support Secondary education Peru 



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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Methodology for the Behavioral SciencesUniversity of ValenciaValenciaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Developmental and Educational PsychologyUniversity of ValenciaValenciaSpain
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyPontifical Catholic University of PeruLimaPeru

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