The Pivotal Role of Social Support in the Well-Being of Adolescents

  • Henriëtte S. van den BergEmail author
  • Ancel A. George
  • Edwin D. Du Plessis
  • Anja Botha
  • Natasha Basson
  • Marisa De Villiers
  • Solomon Makola
Part of the Cross-Cultural Advancements in Positive Psychology book series (CAPP, volume 4)


The aim of the current study was to investigate the influence of psychosocial strengths on the subjective well-being of a group of adolescents, as well as to establish any differences in the level of well-being reported by different gender and ethnic groups. This nonexperimental, cross-sectional study included a random sample of 846 eighth grade students from ten schools in the Free State Province. Data was gathered and analysed using descriptive statistics and a stepwise regression analysis to investigate the contribution of resiliency factors and psychosocial strengths to the life satisfaction of students from the respective gender and ethnic groups. The results revealed that the participants experienced moderate levels of life satisfaction, with black males reporting slightly lower life satisfaction. The mean scores of white males and females were slightly higher on all the resilience and strengths subscales. The eight predictor variables explained 17.36, 17.92, 19.98, and 32.58 % of the variance for the black male, white male, black female, and white females groups respectively. The resilience factor sense of mastery made a statistically significant (1 % level) contribution to the life satisfaction of all four groups, while family involvement was a significant contributing factor for the females. The interdependence of personal resources and social support structures is evident from the results of the study and support recommendations for personal interventions aimed at building the personal and social skills of adolescents to empower them to navigate the complex demands of modern-day living.


Life Satisfaction Emotional Regulation School Functioning Black Male Social Resource 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henriëtte S. van den Berg
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ancel A. George
    • 2
  • Edwin D. Du Plessis
    • 3
  • Anja Botha
    • 2
  • Natasha Basson
    • 4
  • Marisa De Villiers
    • 5
  • Solomon Makola
    • 6
  1. 1.Post Graduate School, Research DevelopmentUniversity of the Free StateBloemfonteinSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Free StateBloemfonteinSouth Africa
  3. 3.Institute for Psychotherapy and CounsellingNorth-West UniversityPotchefstroomSouth Africa
  4. 4.Center for Student Development and SuccessUniversity of Free StateBloemfonteinSouth Africa
  5. 5.Mangaung Community, Free State Department of HealthUniversity of Free State Partnership ProgramBloemfonteinSouth Africa
  6. 6.Campus Management, Central University of TechnologyWelkomSouth Africa

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