Trajectories of Life Satisfaction Across the Transition to Post-Compulsory Education: Do Adolescents Follow Different Pathways?
- 629 Downloads
To examine the developmental trajectories of life satisfaction shown by adolescents during a major educational transition, 687 (327 girls, 360 boys) Finnish adolescents responded to measures of life satisfaction during the beginning of their last year in comprehensive school and three times annually thereafter during the transition to post-comprehensive education. Growth Mixture Modeling identified three latent groups based on life satisfaction: high-decreasing (18%), low-increasing (16%), and high-stable (66%). The results showed that boys and those with high academic achievement were overrepresented in the high-stable life satisfaction group. The results further showed that those with high school satisfaction at the last measurement time were more likely to belong to the high-stable or low-increasing life satisfaction group. Finally, adolescents in the high-stable life satisfaction group were more often on an academic track at the last measurement time.
KeywordsAdolescence Life satisfaction Trajectories Longitudinal Educational transition Growth mixture modeling Gender
This study forms part of a larger project under the title Finnish Educational Transitions (FinEdu) and was funded by grants from the Academy of Finland (121 0319) and the Jacobs Foundation.
- Bandura, A. (1982). Self-efficacy mechanism in human agency. American Psychologist, 37, 22–147.Google Scholar
- Bergman, L. R., Magnusson, D., & El-Khouri, B. M. (2003). Studying individual development in an interindividual context. A person-oriented approach. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Caspi, A. (2002). Social selection, social causation and developmental pathways: Empirical strategies for better understanding how individuals and environments are linked across the life course. In L. Pulkkinen & A. Caspi (Eds.), Paths to successful development. Personality in the life course (pp. 281–301). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Eccles, J. S. (2004). Schools, academic motivation, and stage-environment fit. In R. M. Lerner & L. D. Steinberg (Eds.), Handbook of adolescent psychology (2nd ed., pp. 125–153). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Eccles, J. S., & Midgley, C. (1989). Statge/environment fit: Developmentally appropriate classrooms for early adolescents. In R. Ames & C. Ames (Eds.), Research on motivation in education (Vol. 3, pp. 139–181). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Education in Finland. (1999). Statistics and indicators. Helsinki, Finland: Statistics Finland.Google Scholar
- Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity: Youth and crisis. Oxford, UK: Norton & Co.Google Scholar
- Frisch, M. B. (2000). Improving mental and physical health care through quality of life therapy and assessment. In E. Diener & D. R. Rahtz (Eds.), Advances in quality of life theory and research (pp. 207–241). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer.Google Scholar
- Holopainen, L., & Savolainen, H. (2005). Unpublished raw data. Finland: University of Joensuu and University of Jyväskylä.Google Scholar
- Jose, P. E., & Ratcliffe, V. (2004). Stressor frequency and perceived intensity as predictors of internalizing symptoms: Gender and age differences in adolescence. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 33, 145–154.Google Scholar
- Lerner, R. M., & Steinberg, L. (Eds.). (2004). Handbook of Adolescent Psychology (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Muthén, B. (2001). Second-generation structural equation modelling with a combination of categorical and continuous latent variables. New opportunities for latent class/latent growth modelling. In L. M. Collins & A. Sayer (Eds.), New methods for the analysis of change (pp. 291–322). Washington, DC: APA.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Muthén, B. (2004). Latent variable analysis: Growth mixture modelling and related techniques for longitudinal data. In D. Kaplan (Ed.), Handbook of quantitative methodology for the social sciences (pp. 345–368). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Muthén, L., & Muthén, B. O. (1998–2007). Mplus user’s guide & Mplus Version 5. http://www.statmodel.com/index2.html.
- Nurmi, J.-E., Niemivirta, M., & Salmela-Aro, K. (2003). The satisfaction with educational track scale. Finland: University of Jyväskylä and University of Helsinki.Google Scholar
- Oakes, J., Gamoran, A., & Page, R. N. (1992). Curriculum differentiation: Opportunities, outcomes, and meanings. In P. W. Jackson (Ed.), Handbook of research on curriculum (pp. 570–608). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
- OECD. (1998). Getting started, settling in: The transition from education to the labour market. Employment Outlook, 60, 81–122.Google Scholar
- Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Rutter, M. (1990). Psychosocial resilience and protective mechanisms. In J. E. Rolf, A. Masten, D. Cicchetti, K. H. Neucherterlein, & S. Weintraub (Eds.), Risk and protective factors in the development of psychopathology (pp. 181–214). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Salmela-Aro, K., & Tuominen-Soini, H. (in press). Adolescents’ life satisfaction during the transition to post-comprehensive education: Antecedents and consequences. Journal of Happiness Studies. Google Scholar
- School Statistics. (2003). http://www.stat.fi/til/khak/2005/khak_2005_2006-12-21_tie_001.html. Helsinki: Central Statistical Office of Finland.
- Schulenberg, J. E., Maggs, J. L., & O’Malley, P. M. (2003). How and why the understanding of developmental continuity and discontinuity is important: The sample case of long-term consequences of adolescent substance abuse. In J. T. Mortimer & M. J. Shanahan (Eds.), Handbook of the life course. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.Google Scholar
- Schulenberg, J., O’Malley, P. M., & Bachman, J. G. (2005). Early adult transitions and their relation to well-being and substance use. In R. A. Settersten Jr., F. F. Furstenberg Jr., & R. G. Rumbaut (Eds.), On the frontier of adulthood: Theory, research, and public policy (pp. 417–453). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Shaffer, D. R. (2002). Developmental psychology: Childhood and adolescence (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.Google Scholar
- Verkuyton, M. (1996). The impact of ethnic and sex differences on happiness among adolescents in the Netherlands. Journal of Social Psychology, 126, 259–264.Google Scholar