Skip to main content

The Role of Optimism in Adolescent Mental Health: A Systematic Review


Optimism is a central concept in the field of positive psychology that focuses on the expectations that people have about the results of their future events. This review presents a synthesis of evidence from primary studies, whose findings reflect the role of optimism in adolescent mental health. This systematic review used a narrative approach for the data, based on the parameters of the Cochrane method and PRISMA. A protocol was registered in PROSPERO (Register number: CRD42019142616). A total of 31 articles, in a cohort of 46,262 adolescents between 13 and 17 years, showed significant primary outcomes which evidenced the role of optimism as a predictor, mediator, and protector of mental health during adolescence. This evidence suggests that optimism contributes significantly to the mental health of adolescents, functioning as a predictor of good mental health, a buffer against the impact of stress, and a protector against pathological symptoms and risk behaviors.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2


Download references


This systematic review was supported by the Universidade Federal do Pará, Brasil/Pró-Reitoria de Pesquisa e Pós-graduação (PROPESP) and the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—CAPES.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



FR contributed to the conception and design of this systematic review. The literature search was carried out by FR and CN. The data were extracted and analized by FR and CN. Any discrepancies were discussed in group. The manuscript was wrote by FR and revised by CN and JP. The authors agreed with the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Fabio Alexis Rincón Uribe.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

No conflict of interest was declared by the authors.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Rincón Uribe, F.A., Neira Espejo, C.A. & Pedroso, J.d. The Role of Optimism in Adolescent Mental Health: A Systematic Review. J Happiness Stud 23, 815–845 (2022).

Download citation

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Optimism
  • Adolescent
  • Mental health
  • Adolescent health
  • Positive psychology