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Life Satisfaction in Adolescents: The Role of Individual and Social Health Assets

  • Luis Calmeiro (a1), Inês Camacho (a2) and Margarida Gaspar de Matos (a2)
Abstract

The aim of this study is to explore the relationship between adolescents’ life satisfaction and individual and social health assets. A nationally representative sample of 3,494 Portuguese adolescents (mean age = 14.94 ± 1.30 years; 53.6% girls) completed the Health Behavior in School-aged Children survey measuring a variety of health behaviors and beliefs. A sequential regression analysis was conducted with gender, individual assets (academic achievement, social competence, self-regulation and life objectives) and social assets (family support, peer support, parental monitoring and school connectedness) entered in separate steps. A second regression analysis was conducted with social assets entered before individual assets. The final model explained 18.3% of life satisfaction. School connectedness (β = .198, p < .001) and family support (β = .154, p < .001) were the strongest predictors of adolescents’ life satisfaction followed by social competence (β = .152, p < .001), academic achievement (β = .116, p < .001) and self-regulation (β = .064, p < .001). Social assets explained a larger variance of life satisfaction than individual assets when entered first in the regression (r2 = .134 and r2 = .119, respectively, p < .001). When entered last step in the regression analysis, social assets added more to life satisfaction’s variance than when individual assets were added in the last step (r2 = .060 and r2 = .045, respectively, p < .001). These results reinforce the role social interaction and social capital models in the promotion of well-being.

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Corresponding author
*(TNW No. 12) Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Luis Calmeiro. University of Abertay Dundee. Division of Sport and Exercise Sciences. DD1 1HG Dundee, Scotland, UK. E-mail: l.calmeiro@abertay.ac.uk
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