Psychological Maltreatment, Social Acceptance, Social Connectedness, and Subjective Well-Being in Adolescents

Abstract

Psychological maltreatment is a dramatically increasing problem and related to a wide range of short-term and long-term outcomes. Considering these potential effects of it on healthy development and well-being, it is important to understand the mitigating factors for its negative effects on well-being from childhood to adulthood. Therefore, the purpose of present study is to investigate the mediation role of social acceptance and social connectedness on the effect of psychological maltreatment on subjective well-being in high school adolescents. The sample consisted of 825 students enrolled in grades 9–12 in two public schools in a small urban city in Turkey. The participants were 46.2% male and 53.8% female and ranged in age from 14 to 19 years old (M = 16.508, SD = 1.163). Findings from the structural model indicated that psychological maltreatment was a negative and significant predictor of social connectedness and social acceptance, yet did not significantly predict youth subjective well-being. Further, social acceptance and social connectedness were significant and positive predictors of subjective well-being. Finally, results showed that social acceptance and social connectedness fully mediated the relationship between psychological maltreatment and subjective well-being. Taken together, these outcomes support the importance of social connectedness and social acceptance on adolescents’ wellbeing, and these psychosocial resources help to explain the association between psychological maltreatment and subjective well-being. Results are discussed in light of the literature, and suggestions are presented for professions as well as for future research.

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Arslan, G. Psychological Maltreatment, Social Acceptance, Social Connectedness, and Subjective Well-Being in Adolescents. J Happiness Stud 19, 983–1001 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-017-9856-z

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Keywords

  • Subjective well-being
  • Psychological maltreatment
  • Social acceptance
  • Social connectedness
  • Belongingness