Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 39, Issue 8, pp 870–881 | Cite as

Trajectories of Life Satisfaction Across the Transition to Post-Compulsory Education: Do Adolescents Follow Different Pathways?

  • Katariina Salmela-AroEmail author
  • Lotta Tynkkynen
Empirical Research


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.


Adolescence 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.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Helsinki University Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.University of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

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