Life Satisfaction Mediates the Association Between Mental Health Risk and Perceptions of School Functioning Among Children and Adolescents

  • Javier Guzmán
  • Jennifer Greif GreenEmail author
  • Rachel Oblath
  • Melissa K. Holt


This study examined the association of students’ life satisfaction with mental health risk and perceptions of school functioning (academic and social functioning). Participants were 1348 students (53.5% female) enrolled in grades 4 to 12 in a predominantly non-Latino white and middle-upper class public school district in the northeastern USA. Moderated mediation analyses were performed, and overall life satisfaction (BMSLSS; Huebner et al. Psychology in the Schools, 41(1), 81-93; 2004b) was tested as a mediator of the relationship between mental health risk (SDQ; Goodman, Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 40, 1337-1345; 2001) and perceptions of school functioning. The main results indicated that overall life satisfaction significantly mediated the relationship between mental health risks and perceptions of academic functioning and social functioning; however, this mediation was specific to internalizing problems. School level moderated this relationship, such that high school students (but not elementary/middle school students) reported that life satisfaction significantly mediated the relationship between higher mental health risk and lower perceptions of school functioning (both academic and social functioning). Results suggest the importance of including measures of life satisfaction in routine school mental health assessments.


Life satisfaction Mental health School Children Adolescence 


Funding Information

This study is unfunded.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Institutional Research Board.


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Copyright information

© California Association of School Psychologists 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wheelock College of Education & Human DevelopmentBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Facultad de PsicologíaUniversidad del DesarrolloSantiagoChile

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