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Perceived social support and life satisfaction among young Chinese adolescents: the mediating effect of psychological Suzhi and its components

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Abstract

Psychological suzhi, as a set of comprehensive, integrated, and positive psychological qualities in Chinese culture, is a concept that has emerged in the field of Chinese quality-oriented education and that attempts to serve as a comprehensive overview of a given individual’s mental health. More recently, however, researchers have determined that while psychological suzhi is a significant predictor of psychological outcomes, its individual components (cognitive, individuality, and adaptability qualities) all have a distinct impact on these outcomes. The present study was therefore designed to assess whether psychological suzhi and/or components thereof play a mediating role in the relationship between perceived social support (PSS) and life satisfaction among adolescents. In total, 2227 participants (Mage = 15.71 ± 0.82 years, 67.49% male) from western China were recruited for this study, and were assessed using adapted versions of the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, the Satisfaction with Life Scale, and the Brief Psychological Suzhi Questionnaire for Middle School Students. Our analyses ultimately revealed that there were significant positive correlations between PSS, psychological suzhi and components thereof, and life satisfaction. We additionally employed a structural equation modeling approach which indicated that overall psychological suzhi partially mediated the relationship between PSS and life satisfaction, whereas the cognitive, individuality, and adaptability components of suzhi did not mediate this same relationship. This suggests that psychological suzhi may be an important regulator of the relationship between PSS and life satisfaction such that educators and legal guardians may be able to improve the life satisfaction of adolescents either via offering social support or via bolstering their psychological suzhi.

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Data Availability

The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Funding

This study has been supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (grant number: SWU1909106).

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All the coauthors are participants in the data collection and analysis, writing and revising the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Cheng Guo.

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Miao, H., Sun, H., He, X. et al. Perceived social support and life satisfaction among young Chinese adolescents: the mediating effect of psychological Suzhi and its components. Curr Psychol 40, 6164–6174 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-020-01130-3

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